The trauma team leader

The trauma team leader is a doctor with specific expertise in trauma resuscitation. The Montreal General Hospital has a dozen team leaders. They may be an emergency doctor, a surgeon or an anesthesiologist.

When on duty, the trauma team leader must be able to reach the hospital within 20 minutes after notification of the arrival of an injured person. The team leader’s role is crucial to the successful treatment of the patient. Always in the heart of the action, the leader orchestrates the work of the team. Upon arrival at the hospital, he/she will contact the blood bank and assemble a multidisciplinary team of emergency doctors, surgeons, resident surgeons, nursing assistants, respiratory therapists and various other related professionals, including social workers.

By having a full team of trauma specialists on duty – indeed, one of the best qualified anywhere in Canada – the Montreal General Hospital ensures that it can continue to respond simultaneously to existing patient needs, despite any sudden arrivals of urgent cases. An example... the Dawson shooting.

When a trauma patient arrives, the trauma team leader assesses the extent of the injuries and prioritizes treatments. He assigns all the specialists needed for the patient’s survival and to ensure the best quality of life. A patient with multiple injuries could thus be seen by a neurosurgeon, an orthopedist and then a plastic surgeon, each specialist (sometimes up to five per patient!) providing the necessary emergency care.

The trauma team leader is the team quarterback.