In the 20 years since the introduction of the Victorian State Trauma System (VSTS), preventable death and disability from major trauma has reduced significantly.1 Today, the VSTS is considered a world leader in integrated trauma systems, with several international jurisdictions implementing trauma systems based on the VSTS model.2
The VSTS is co-funded by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Transport Accident Commission to ensure major trauma patients are managed optimally.
The objective of the VSTS is to reduce preventable mortality and improve the outcomes of severely injured patients by matching their needs to an appropriate level of treatment in a safe and timely manner.
The VSTS aims to ensure that as many major trauma patients as possible receive their definitive care at a major trauma service (MTS) or equivalent specialist trauma service (the Austin Hospital for spinal cord trauma and the Metropolitan Neurological services (MNS) for older patients with isolated head injuries).
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 critically injured patients. They provide up-to-date information for frontline healthcare clinicians. The guideline has followed the AGREE II methodology for guideline development and is under the auspice of the Victorian State Trauma Committee (VSTC).3
There is clear evidence that the VSTS has been highly effective in improving the clinical management and outcomes of major trauma patients, with continued improvements achieved.
Key elements of the VSTS that underpin its success include: