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Operational Critical Care. Intensive Care and Trauma
  1. Wg Cdr Peter Shirley, FRCA FIMC. RCS(Ed) DMCC EDIC, Consultant1
  1. 612 SQN Royal Auxiliary Air Force, Consultant, Intensive Care and Anaesthesia, Royal London Hospital, Whitechapel, London, UK E1 1BB 0207 377 7007 (W) Peter.Shirley{at}


Trauma management involves good prehospital, emergency, surgical, anaesthetic and intensive care decision-making. Optimal outcome depends on keeping abreast of the latest thinking in an ever-changing and increasingly technology-rich environment. The intensive care unit needs to represented as early as possible in the damage-control resuscitation phase. Improved trauma system care has resulted in an increasing number of multiply injured military patents surviving their initial trauma. These patients require intensive care and are at risk from sepsis and multiple organ failure. Attention to detail is important, preservation of organ function, infection control and nutrition to maintain muscle strength allowing normal metabolic function to return. Multiply injured patients often require lengthy periods of mechanical ventilation and a variety of therapeutic interventions may have to be considered during management of the disease process. As we are now seeing more survivors in the military trauma system the focus now needs to be morbidity reduction in order for these survivors to be best prepared for their rehabilitation phase of care.

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