Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Trauma services requirements in a district general hospital serving a rural area.

British Medical Journal 1990; 300 doi: (Published 24 February 1990) Cite this as: British Medical Journal 1990;300:504
  1. S J Kinny,
  2. D H Jones
  1. Accident Unit, Gwynedd Hospital, Bangor.


    OBJECTIVE--To assess the demands made on a regional trauma centre by a district trauma unit. DESIGN--Two part study. (1) Prospective analysis of one month's workload. (2) Retrospective analysis of one year's workload by using a computer based records system. Comparison of two sets of results. SETTING--Accident unit in Gwynedd Hospital, Bangor. PATIENTS--(1) All patients who attended the accident unit in August 1988. (2) All patients who attended the accident unit in the calendar year April 1988-April 1989. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE--Workload of a district trauma unit. RESULTS--In August 1988 there were 2325 attendances; 2302 of these were analysed. In all, 1904 attendances were for trauma; 213 patients were admitted to the trauma ward and 103 required an operation that entailed incision. Patients who attended the unit had a mean (range) injury severity score of 2-13 (0-25). Only two patients had injuries that a district general hospital would not be expected to cope with (injury severity score greater than 20). In the year April 1988-April 1989, 21,007 patients attended the unit. In all, 17,958 attendances were for orthopaedic injuries or injuries caused by an accident; 1966 patients were admitted to the unit. CONCLUSIONS--Most trauma is musculoskeletal and relatively minor according to the injury severity score. All but a few injuries can be managed in district general hospitals. In their recent report the Royal College of Surgeons has overestimated the requirements that a British district general hospital would have of a regional trauma centre.