‘Trauma represents one of the most serious threats to public health’: Dr Nidhi Bhatia

What began as a protocol book for resident doctors of PGI to fill the knowledge gaps, is now a 31-chapter trauma manual entitled ‘Acute Trauma Care in Developing Countries: A Practical Guide’ edited by Dr Kajal Jain and Dr Nidhi Bhatia, from the Department of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, PGI.

A work of two years, the book was officially launched by Prof Vivek Lal, Director of the Institute, on Thursday.

Trauma, says Dr Bhatia, represents one of the most serious threats to public health the world over, and trauma results in a higher loss of quality of life than other diseases and sadly affects the younger population. “In 2016, I took over the Trauma Centre here and started several improvement initiatives. Due to the continued efforts of skilled trauma providers working in a complex system, we can mitigate the impact of the injury on those who have life-threatening injuries. Many advancements upon which we have gained revolve around quality improvement in resuscitation, anaesthesia, advanced monitoring, and timely surgical intervention. Currently, we still lack accreditation of trauma systems conducive to our environment and there is a strong need to develop trauma systems on a par with international counterparts,” adds Dr Jain.

Currently, says Dr Jain, there is no trauma book aimed at catering to the needs of physicians dealing with trauma care in developing countries and this trauma manual provides a ready reference for all who provide care to trauma patients. The editors have chosen a wide range of topics aimed at all members of the trauma team (prehospital, trauma triage, intensive care, and operating room). The highlight of the book is that all the authors, 44, are from various departments of PGI (anaesthesia, critical care, orthopedics, plastic surgery, neurosurgery, general surgery, radiology, transfusion medicine), and have great expertise in working in a high-volume tertiary trauma centre.

The issues faced by doctors, residents, and their experiences in the triage, says Dr Jain, are an important segment of the book and the text in the book is indispensable for those with an interest in the care of the injured, which may be as simple as an isolated fracture to the one with multisystem involvement.

“We have four to six children in the age group of one to six years in a month, admitted to the paediatric trauma ward because of fall from heights, as in our society so many children are left unobserved, unlike the West. The book has three sections, acute trauma care, crashing trauma care and trauma sub-specialty, and a chapter on military trauma. We are conducting regular disaster drills and have been training police personnel on a regular basis on how to bring road accident victims to safety, and we hope this book will benefit many,” sums up Dr Jain.

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