Key Messages

The Victorian State Trauma System provides support and retrieval services for critically injured patients requiring definitive care, transfer and management. These guidelines provide evidence based advice on the initial imaging for major trauma patients who present to Victorian health services.
This guideline is developed for all clinical staff involved in the care of trauma patients in Victoria. It is intended for use by frontline clinical staff that provide early care for major trauma patients; those working directly at the Major Trauma Service (MTS) as well as those working outside of a MTS.
These guidelines provide the user with accessible resources to effectively and confidently decide on the appropriate means of imaging in the critically injured trauma patient. The guideline has been assessed utilising the AGREE II methodology for guideline development and is under the auspice of the Victoria State Trauma Committee (VSTC).1

Clinical Emphasis Points:

  • Diagnostic imaging in trauma is essential to guide diagnosis and prevent mortality.
  • Indications for imaging are based on a number of different factors to include the mechanism of injury, the patients’ stability, examination findings, availability of resources and whether transfer to a MTS is likely.
  • Consideration should be given to the amount of exposure to radiation relevant to each intervention and whether it is the most appropriate imaging modality.
  • Imaging in the Paediatric population should be tailored so that the required information is obtained with the fewest images and the least amount of radiation.