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World J Surg. 2006 Jun;30(6):919-29.

Overview of the Essential Trauma Care Project.

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Department of Surgery, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98104, USA.


The Essential Trauma Care (EsTC) Project represents an effort to set reasonable, affordable, minimum standards for trauma services worldwide and to define the resources necessary to actually provide these services to every injured person, even in the lowest-income countries. An emphasis is improved organization and planning, at minimal cost. The EsTC Project is a collaborative effort of the World Health Organization and the International Association for Trauma Surgery and Intensive Care, an integrated society within the International Society of Surgery-Société Internationale de Chirurgie. A milestone of the project has been the release of Guidelines for Essential Trauma Care. This establishes 11 core Essential Trauma Care services that can be considered "The Rights of the Injured." To assure these services, Guidelines delineates 260 items of human and physical resources that should be in place at the spectrum of health facilities globally. These are delineated in a series of flexible resource tables, to be adjusted based on an individual country's circumstances. Guidelines is intended to serve as both a planning guide and an advocacy statement. It has been used to catalyze improvements in trauma care in several countries. It has stimulated five national-level consultation meetings on trauma care, which constituted the highest governmental attention yet devoted to trauma care in those countries. At these meetings, the EsTC resource templates were adjusted to local circumstances and implementation strategies developed. Future efforts need to emphasize more on-the-ground implementation in individual countries, greater linkages with prehospital care, and wider political endorsement, such as by passage of a World Health Assembly resolution.

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