Paddington trauma centre ready to save lives

New facility at St Mary’s Hospital will reduce deaths from major incidents

A PADDINGTON hospital has opened the doors of a state-of-the-art major injury centre which aims to reduce the number of deaths from serious incidents in London.

The Major Trauma Centre at St Mary’s hospital, on Praed Street, welcomed its first patients last Wednesday and is designed to cater for victims of road traffic collisions, stabbings, shootings, falls from height and other major incidents.

Following the Royal London hospital, St George’s hospital and King’s College hospital, whose units opened in April, the St Mary’s centre is the fourth to open in the capital.

Figures released last week show more than 100 extra lives will be saved at the four centres with patients treated in them having a 25 per cent higher survival rate than the national average.

Centre director Michael Jenkins, who is a consultant vascular surgeon, said: “The centre is to prioritise those patients who are the most severely injured.

“Rather than the old system where the London Ambulance service would take them to the nearest hospital, which may or may not have had full facilities to treat them, the ambulance workers will now make a decision based on a set of criteria as to whether to take them to the major trauma centre or not.

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“We have had three major head injuries already since we opened. Rather than arriving and having to be transferred to Charing Cross hospital as they would have been previously, the patients were able to be assessed and treated here at this site. It provides a much more rapid response.”

The centre, which caters for the whole of north-west London, aims to treat up to 500 patients per year with a modern theatre and a 16-bed major trauma ward.

Mr Jenkins says the ward will ensure all major trauma patients will be located in the same place, making it easier for patients with multiple injuries to benefit from doctors from different departments.

“Before, the patients may be put in the ward most suitable for their main injury, but if they had multiple injuries it may not be the best place,” he said. “Now all the different teams can come to see the patients in one place.”

The theatre contains multiple cameras and screens for the surgical team to have a 360 degree view of the action, while footage can be streamed to a lecture theatre for teaching.

The St Mary’s centre is currently receiving patients between 8am and 7pm but will be operating a 24-hour service from January 10.