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This is the sixth edition of the ACS-COT document entitled Resources for Optimal Care of the Injured Patient. Each revision has evolved in many ways as new information and needs are recognized. Many individuals volunteered a significant amount of their time, energy, experience, and knowledge in drafting this and previous editions. These individuals are primarily members of the ACS-COT, but input from outside the ACS-COT has been from other groups such as the American Burn Association, the Orthopaedic Trauma Association, the American College of Emergency Physicians, the American College of Radiology,
from neurosurgery, pediatric surgery and the National Association of State EMS Officials. The result is a book that attempts to define the resources required to provide optimal care in regional trauma systems.
The authors were guided by a number of principles that are worth mentioning. As used throughout this document, the term “immediately” mean within 15 minutes, and the term “promptly” means within
The care of injured patients requires a system approach to ensure optimal care. A systematic approach is necessary within a facility; however, no one trauma center can do everything alone. Thus, a system approach is necessary within an entire community regardless of its size. Resources for Optimal Care of the Injured Patient: 1993 attempted to define an inclusive system of care but failed to delineate a flow of patients to support it. If resources for optimal care of injured patients are to be used wisely, then some concentration of resources should occur. This type of resource allocation should allow patients to move to the highest level of care available and, ideally, should avoid excessive and inappropriate resource
expenditure in a time of limited medical resources. This system should support the development of trauma centers with the right balance of resources and volume of patients.