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First aid

07 June 2011

The Golden Hour

In emergency medicine, the golden hour refers to a period following traumatic injury being sustained by a casualty during which there prompt medical treatment will prevent death.

Cases of severe trauma, especially internal bleeding, surgical intervention is required. Complications such as shock may occur if the patient is not managed appropriately and expeditiously. It therefore becomes a priority to transport patients suffering from severe trauma as fast as possible to specialists, most often found at a hospital trauma centre, for definitive treatment, and this is where the Medical Helicopter service becomes vital.

Because some injuries can cause a trauma patient to deteriorate extremely rapidly, the lag time between injury and treatment should ideally be kept to a bare minimum; over time, this lag time has come to be specified as a now-standard time frame of no more than 60 minutes, after which time the survival rate for traumatic patients is alleged to fall off dramatically.

What is the Golden Hour?

 

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