Health Ministry Says Trauma Centers Insufficient

A total of 20,000 people die each year due to traumatic brain injury. A total of 20,000 people die each year due to traumatic brain injury.

There are 39 level-I and-II trauma centers in the country but more are needed, said a senior official at the Health Ministry.

A trauma center is a hospital (or hospital ward) equipped and staffed to provide care for patients suffering from major traumatic injuries such as falls, road accidents or other serious wounds.

Trauma centers vary in their capabilities and are identified by ‘level’ designation, level 1 being the highest to level-3 the lowest.

The highest levels of trauma centers have access to specialized medical and nursing care including emergency medicine, trauma surgery, critical care, neurosurgery, orthopedic surgery, anesthesiology and radiology, as well as highly sophisticated surgical and diagnostic equipment.

Tehran has major level-I centers in five hospitals, namely Sina, Hafte Tir, Imam Khomeini, Imam Hussein and Shohadaye Tajrish hospitals.

“In spite of the adequate number, the capital’s trauma centers suffer shortcomings in the range of services the offer,” said Mohammad Aghajani, deputy for treatment affairs at the Health Ministry.

The official says there must be at least one advanced (level-I) trauma center in each province and one mid-range (level-II) center in each county with a population of over 250,000.

Aghajani elaborated on the ministry’s plans to enhance the safety of emergency departments (EDs).

“To improve the safety of buildings of the emergency departments, 120 new EDs are under construction and 320 are being renovated,” he said.

Also, to develop the country’s health infrastructure, the Health Ministry launched a project in mid-2016 to establish and renovate 133,089 square meters of emergency service area and construct 125 EDs in major trauma centers.

The project is expected to be completed in March 2018, by which time 2,400 ambulances are also planned to be added to the road emergency fleet, and 24 air emergency stations will be launched to offer services in deprived and hard-to-reach areas. So far, 21 stations are in operation.

An emergency department (ED) is a medical treatment facility specializing in emergency medicine and acute care of patients who come without prior appointment, but without the presence of specialized services to care for victims of major trauma.

Statistics show that annually, over 16,000 people lose their lives in road accidents in the country and around 200,000 people are maimed.

According to Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, 20,000 people die each year due to traumatic brain injury.


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