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Teletrauma and Telepresence for Emergency Management

Teletrauma and Telepresence for Emergency Management

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Day 2, September 22, 2011, Session 5, Rifat Latifi, MD, FACS, Professor of Surgery, Director, Trauma Services, Hamad Medical Corporation, Doha, Qatar; President International Virtual E-Hospital Foundation
Day 2, September 22, 2011, Session 5, Rifat Latifi, MD, FACS, Professor of Surgery, Director, Trauma Services, Hamad Medical Corporation, Doha, Qatar; President International Virtual E-Hospital Foundation

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Published by: Four Worlds International Institute (FWII) on Oct 12, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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 TELETRAUMA AND TELEPRESENCE FOR EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT
Rifat Latifi 
, MD, FACS, Professor of Surgery, Director, Trauma Services, Hamad MedicalCorporation, Doha, Qatar; President International Virtual e-Hospital Foundation.rlatifi@email.arizona.edu 
Telemedicine has evolved to become an important field of medicine and healthcareoverall, involving everything from simple patient care to actual performance of operations at a distance, telementoring, teleproctoring and other significant educationalactivities. However, although several studies have demonstrated the practicality,effectiveness, and safety of telemedicine for trauma and emergency management, it hasremained a vastly underutilized field when all its potential is considered. The reasons aremultiple, but none justify allowing a patient to die or sustain significant morbidity because there were no experts to render help at the patient’s bedside. The possibilities for help are within reach and new technological advances, teletrauma or telepresence for management of trauma, emergencies and disasters should become a norm and a routine practice, around the world. A retrospective analysis was performed on 59 teleconsults between five rural hospitals and a level 1 trauma center from November 2004 to October 2008. Data was collected on the type of consult, mechanism of injury, transfer status, perceived impact on survival, and cost implications. The initial telemedicine pilot program with 21 patients treated over a period of 13 months was successful and led toestablishment of a wider network. A total of 59 patients have been evaluated, rangingfrom severe trauma cases to general surgery follow up. 35 of these consults were for trauma cases (59%), 19 for general surgery (32%), and 5 for other reasons (9%). 85% of  patients (50/59) were from the first site established. In 8 cases, the teletrauma consult was

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