Enhancing Rural Trauma Care

46-year-old male. 45 minutes ago. Motorcycle at highway speed hit gravel and slid into tree. Decreased level of consciousness. Abrasions. Decreased movement of left chest. Blood pressure 94/45, heart rate 112. Pelvic binder applied.

You receive this information from the paramedics bringing a patient to your rural hospital that is hours away from the higher-resourced
trauma services available in larger centres. What do you do?

This was one of many scenarios discussed by more than 40 doctors, nurses, and others from Kindersley, Rosetown, Outlook, Kerrobert, and Unity during two days of rural trauma care training in March at Kindersley District Hospital. The training sessions, led by trauma
specialists from Royal University Hospital, were delivered on-site, allowing attendees to learn and enhance their trauma care skills in
their actual or similarly-resourced work environment.

“This was a wonderful opportunity to review trauma procedures, learn new skills, take part in trauma simulation scenarios, and build personal relationships with RUH colleagues who will be receiving patients from us,” says Kindersley family physician Dr. Kingsley Addo.

Kindersley is located in a farming and oil/gas community and is a two-hour drive from Saskatoon on the busy highway to Calgary.

Emergency Medical Services partners respond to approximately 9 injury-related calls each month requiring transport to the 21-bed
Kindersley District Hospital. Three of those patients, on average, requiring more complex care are then transferred to RUH.

“In many cases, our patients are people we know and providing trauma care to them can be very emotional,” says Jill Snider, a nurse
who has worked at the hospital for 17 years. “So this training gives us the added confidence to do the best we can with the resources we have in stabilizing patients and caring for them here or preparing them to be transferred to RUH.”

Kindersley, Meadow Lake, La Ronge, and Nipawin hospitals hosted the trauma training sessions in 2023–24, where more than 125 local health-care providers attended. The courses were funded by Royal University Hospital Foundation thanks to a generous donation from RBC. Sessions will resume beginning in the fall of 2024.

Dr. James Stempien, Provincial Head of Emergency Medicine in Saskatchewan, commends RUH Foundation and RBC for advancing
rural and remote trauma care in the province.

“This support gives our rural teams the added confidence when responding to high-stress trauma care situations,” says Dr. Stempien.
“It will help ensure that patients get the best care possible in their local facilities and enhance the communications and transfer process with RUH or a larger regional hospital, if required.”

Read more inspiring stories in our 2023–2024 Gratitude Report.