Do you know your RACS Trauma Committee?

The RACS trauma committee is the peak reporting body for the state and territory based trauma committees of the RACS. It is one constituent committee of the Fellowship Services Committee of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. It has an important role in providing input for Governance and Advocacy by RACS.

The committee is composed of surgeons from all nine superspecialties within RACS. A number of non-RACS subject matter experts and community observers are co-opted. All service is voluntary. The term of the chair is three years, to a usual maximum of two terms.  An exemplary Secretariat coordinates, researches, documents and communicates on behalf of the Committee.  An annual face-to-face meeting of the subcommittees and RACS national committee usually occurs in November, with a one day multidisciplinary workshop focusing on a trauma related topic annexed.

The RACS Road Trauma subcommittee and its jurisdictional representatives undertake important work in monitoring death and serious injury on roads. The RACS road trauma subcommittee works closely with government, road infrastructure groups, motoring organisations, non-government road safety organisations, and with the motor vehicle industry, in the formulation of road safety policy and safe system development and monitoring.

The Road Trauma subcommittee has been very effective in assisting with the development and implementation of seatbelt legislation, roadside blood alcohol concentration testing, and safe speed implementation and enforcement.

The RACS trauma committee develops and monitors a range of trauma related policies including those related to firearms, quad bikes, farm safety, alcohol and other drugs, helmets, brain and spine injury.

The establishment of a Disaster Preparedness Register of surgeons willing and prepared to participate in disaster response had been an initiative of the RACS trauma committee following the Asia Tsunami of Boxing Day 2004. This register has proven a useful interim transition as the Australian Medical Assessment Team Training under the auspices of the National Critical Care and Trauma Response Centre in Darwin has matured.

Trauma system verification, which involves site inspection of trauma centres by multidisciplinary teams with an expertise in trauma care delivery, with the timely preparation and submission of reports to the centres verified is conducted under the auspices of the RACS trauma committee.

The Australian Trauma Registry has been an important initiative of the RACS trauma committee, with 25 years of commitment to its development and sustainment. R ACS trauma committee lobbying, in partnership, culminated recently in a Federal government offer of a $450,000 3 year tranche of funding to the ATR.

The RACS trauma committee is the point of contact for trauma and injury orientated organisations outwith the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons.