Doctors hone their skills at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn

QEH staff taking part in the advanced trauma course. Picture: Kim Pearce

QEH staff taking part in the advanced trauma course. Picture: Kim Pearce - Credit: Archant

Doctors at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital have completed a three-day advanced trauma life support course to hone their lifesaving skills and increase confidence in dealing with serious injuries.

QEH staff taking part in the advanced trauma course. Picture: Kim Pearce

QEH staff taking part in the advanced trauma course. Picture: Kim Pearce - Credit: Archant

Road crashes and falls are the main causes of people being brought into the hospital's

busy Emergency Department by ambulance with traumatic injuries.

QEH staff taking part in the advanced trauma course. Picture: Kim Pearce

QEH staff taking part in the advanced trauma course. Picture: Kim Pearce - Credit: Archant

A total of 247 patients were treated for traumatic injuries at the hospital between the summer of 2015 and 2016, with 120 of those being over the age of 80.

Consultant anaesthetist Alistair Steel has been running the course locally for three years and says it is important for the local community.

QEH staff taking part in the advanced trauma course. Picture: Kim Pearce

QEH staff taking part in the advanced trauma course. Picture: Kim Pearce - Credit: Archant


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Dr Steel said: 'The majority of patients we see here are unrelated to trauma and typically doctors will only see a handful of severely injured patients a year so courses like this play an important role in ensuring doctors remain up to date and confident in applying their life-saving skills.

'As the injuries we see here are different to what you would see in places like London, we do try to make the course relative to this area. 'Most of the major traumatic injuries we see in West Norfolk are caused by older people falling over.'

QEH staff taking part in the advanced trauma course. Picture: Kim Pearce

QEH staff taking part in the advanced trauma course. Picture: Kim Pearce - Credit: Archant

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Last year staff at the A&E department treated injuries related to 39 road crashes and 196 falls, 23 which were from over two metres in height.

Up to 29 trauma patients were over the age of 90, while seven were under the age of 18.

QEH staff taking part in the advanced trauma course. Picture: Kim Pearce

QEH staff taking part in the advanced trauma course. Picture: Kim Pearce - Credit: Archant

Dr Steel said: 'Broken hips are among the most common traumatic injury we see here. 'This type of injury may not sound 'traumatic' but these are very distressing for older people along with making a big impact on their lives and future mobility.

'Trauma is the commonest cause of death for people under the age of 40 in this country, and in this region most young people die as a result of injuries sustained in car accidents.

Fortunately we see little of the violent crime that larger cities such as London see.'

He added falls were a big problem for older people, some of which could have been prevented by things like removing clutter, clearing pathways of rugs, cables and other trip hazards and user brighter lighting.

Dr Steel said exercise and balance training can also help older people to stay safe.

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