Key Messages


The Victorian State Trauma System provides support and retrieval services for major trauma patients requiring definitive care, transfer and management. This teamwork and communication guideline provides advice on both how to run and how to be a member of an effective team. The aim of this document is to improve efficiency of interaction within the team, be it within a pre-hospital, hospital or retrieval setting, with the goal of improving patient management and avoiding critical incidents. It also provides a general approach to the structure of the trauma team and the roles of each member.

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 provide early care for the critically injured patient. The guideline is evidence based, has followed the AGREE II methodology for guideline development and is under the auspice of the Victorian State Trauma Committee.1

Clinical emphasis points

  • The structure of a trauma team will differ according to staffing levels and availability.
  • Effective communication is essential in successfully resuscitating trauma patients.
  • A designated team leader should seek input from other members of the team; however, they must make the final decision.
  • To ensure the team runs effectively there must be mutual trust and respect between all members.
  • Technical developments in remote clinician contact and assistance (such as telehealth) is providing better access to expert guidance in the management of major trauma.

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