History of Liverpool Hospital Trauma
and Acute Care Surgery Unit
In 1810 Governor Lachlan Macquarie established a hospital in the town of Liverpool on the banks of the George’s River in the colony of New South Wales. Since that time the hospital has been providing continuous care for the residents of the Liverpool Area and surrounds. In 1988 the Trauma and Injury Department was established at Liverpool Hospital.
Brief History of the Liverpool Hospital Trauma Department
Governor Lachlan Macquarie established hospital in the town of Liverpool.
Hospital transferred to a site at Bigge Park, Liverpool now the TAFE.
Liverpool District Hospital built at Elizabeth Street.
Formation of the Trauma and Injury Department at Liverpool Hospital. Department of Health designated Liverpool Hospital as one of seven major Trauma Hospitals in Sydney. Appointment of one of Australia’s first Trauma Nurse Co-ordinator. Liverpool Hospital adopted a protocol driven Trauma Team responding to serious injury. The team make-up remains unchanged to this day, combining the disciplines of Trauma, Surgery, Intensive Care, Emergency Medicine, Orthopaedics, Nursing, Radiography and Social Work. A hospital based computerised trauma registry of patients was established.
Dr David Sloane is appointed as foundation Director of the Trauma Unit. The department is expanded with the appointment of the first Trauma Fellow, Dr Peter Campbell.
Appointment of Professor Stephen Deane, one of the world’s leading experts in Trauma Care, as Foundation Professor of Surgery at Liverpool Hospital.
Appointment of first overseas Trauma Fellow.
British Army send Trauma Fellows to train at Liverpool Hospital. Research from the Trauma Unit achieves many world firsts: Describing a new procedure halving the time to diagnose abdominal injury. Reported the world’s first prospective analysis of the Trauma Team Leader. Evaluated the level of Trauma Care in the region using new scoring systems. Australia’s first comprehensive computerised Regional Trauma Registry established. Appointment of a Regional Trauma Project Officer to co-ordinate the regional trauma registry and appointment of a Data Manager for report generation.
Department awarded first prize at the 1995 2nd International Trauma Congress in Nijmegen, Holland, for a study of interhospital transfer of patients in South Western Sydney.
Dr David Sloane retires as Director; Dr Michael Sugrue appointed as successor. Formal teaching program for undergraduate students launched. First Research Assistant appointed to Department kindly “on loan” from the Department of Surgery. Launch of the Trauma Injury Research and Education Fund.
First Definitive Surgical Trauma Care (DSTC) Course held in Australia with Liverpool Hospital as the host institution. Similar introductory courses held in South Africa and Austria- all under the auspices of the International Association for Trauma Surgery and Intensive Care (IATSIC)
Trauma Unit awarded the best paper at the Annual Scientific Congress of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons in Sydney for a paper by Dr Alfred Hing on Pre-Hospital Management of Penetrating Trauma.
Publication of the 3 Year Registry Report containing 160 pages of trauma statistics. SWAN Trauma Meeting goes into its seventh year with 7 International keynote speakers.
Introduction of Case Management. Tragic death of Maria Seger, Trauma Nurse Co-ordinator Passing of David Sloane after long illness.
Dr Scott D’Amours is appointed as Trauma Fellow.
Focus on Better Practice Guidelines Inaugural International Conference on the Abdominal Compartment Syndrome.
Liverpool Hospital was the first to undergo a successful verification of its Trauma Service by the multi collegiate verification team led by the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons.
The 6th edition of the Liverpool Hospital “Handbook of Trauma Care” is published as a pocketbook with simultaneous online publication of update-able management algorithms via the “LivTrauma” website.
Appointment of Dr Scott D’Amours as Trauma Surgeon and Lecturer in Surgery. Conjoint project with the Institute of Trauma and Injury Management (ITIM) on the development of Better Practice Guidelines.
The DSTC Course enters its 6th year being held adjacent to the SWAN Trauma Conference. Definitive Peri-Operative Nursing Trauma Care (DPNTC) Course formalised and commences as an annual addition to DSTC with recognition of the importance of training in teams for operative care of the severely injured patient.
Collaborative work with ITIM produces evidence-based “Better Practice Guidelines” to guide trauma care including Management of Hypovolaemic Shock in the Trauma Patient, Initial Management of Closed Head Injury, Airway Management in Trauma, and Management of Haemodynamically Unstable Patients with a Pelvic Fracture.
Liverpool Trauma Department launches its “FAST- Ultrasound in Trauma Care” course with assistance of the Department of Emergency Medicine.
The South Western Sydney Regional Trauma Registry publishes its first “Trauma 10-year Report 1995-2004” to acclaim through an online web-site publication (in addition to hard copy) with editorial comments from many high profile international trauma surgeons including Professors John Fildes, David Hoyt, George Velmahos, Rao Ivatury and many others.
NSW Health publishes the 2004 “Better Practice Guidelines” produced by Liverpool Hospital and the NSW Institute of Trauma and Injury Management to guide clinical care of trauma patients across New South Wales with hypovolaemic shock, pelvic fractures, closed head injury and airway problems.
Liverpool Trauma Department Director Professor Michael Sugrue leaves the Trauma Unit and departs Australia for his original homeland, Ireland. Dr Scott D’Amours takes over as Trauma Director.
The Liverpool Hospital-based Institute for Trauma Education and Clinical Standards (ITECS) continues collaborative work on evidence-based clinical practice guidelines with ITIM and other national and international contributors.
The 10th year of the Liverpool DSTC Course and the 16th year of the SWAN Trauma Conference are celebrated.
Following 3 years of intensive planning and meetings, major works begins on the addition of a new clinical building for Liverpool Hospital to include a new large helipad, extra operating theatres, new wards, expanded outpatient clinics, and 2 interventional ‘hybrid’ theatres for both open operative surgery and interventional radiology- all of this will be a step forward for severely injured patients arriving to Liverpool Hospital.
Redesignation of Major Trauma Services (MTS) in a network-based system of trauma care in NSW includes Liverpool Hospital as the MTS for Sydney South West.
Liverpool Hospital moves to 2 levels of ‘tiered’ trauma team activation criteria to manage patient severity and volume.
New hybrid operating theatre / interventional radiology suite opens within the new operating theatre/interventional radiology complex at Liverpool Hospital redevelopment.
Newly formed acute surgery unit, the ASU, commences daytime (M-F) consultations and operation with one fulltime Fellow – Dr Paul Lambrakis.
The Definitive Anaesthetic Trauma Care (DATC) course commences at the Liverpool DSTC Course. This course is designed to run in parallel with the already successful DSTC and DPNTC courses. The intent is to allow those who care for severely injured trauma patients in the operating theatre- to also train in teams to provide higher level operative care for this specific group of physiologically compromised patients.
Dr Paul Lambrakis appointed as ASU Consultant.
‘Prevent Alcohol Related Trauma in Youth’ The P.A.R.T.Y. injury prevention program commences at Liverpool Hospital. This brings groups of high school students into the hospital environment to allow them to learn and have exposure/experience with severe injuries that can occur when ‘bad decisions’ are made. The program originates from Toronto, Canada.
Liverpool Hospital Trauma Unit recruits Dr Valerie Malka, an experienced trauma surgeon who was previously Director of Trauma at Westmead Hospital for over a decade.
Liverpool Trauma and General Surgery Unit appoints Second fellow.
Liverpool Trauma Unit along with Prof Bruce French, Director of Cardiothoracic Surgery begin rib fracture fixation in selected patients with severe chest wall injuries.
The very successful SWAN Trauma Conference moves to a new CBD venue, the Sheraton on the Park, for the first time to celebrate its 25th Anniversary. The program is expanded to include Critical Care and Emergency Surgery.
Acute Pain Service (APS) develops capacity to consult on admitted trauma patients and offer regional blocks – especially helpful for rib fracture patients with severe pain.
Liverpool Hospital begins planning the new Liverpool Hospital. Academic and Health Precinct
Dr Valerie Malka is appointed as the new Director of Trauma in June. Following this appointment, a new model care is established and the two Units – Trauma and Acute Surgery (TACS) – are formally merged later in the year. A new Trauma and Acute Care Surgery Fellowship is established with two positions.
Liverpool Trauma Unit runs the Trauma Outcomes and Performance Improvement Course ‘TOPIC’- a very successful course run with the assistance of the USA-based Society of Trauma Nurses as well as the Disaster Management and Emergency Preparedness (DMEP) Course of the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma.
Dr Lambrakis is appointed as Deputy Director of the new Department. Melissa Murphy is appointed as our new Trauma Program Manager/Coordinator CNC 3 bringing to the Trauma Unit a vast experience in patient safety and clinical governance.
Liverpool Hospital Trauma Unit undergoes successful formal Verification of the RACS Verification Program in December becoming the only formally verified Trauma Level 1 Trauma Centre in NSW.
COVID pandemic hits and TACS Unit continues to manage both emergency general surgery and injured trauma patients with an emergency COVID plan. The Trauma Unit recruits Linda Gutierrez from Westmead as the Data Manger with over 25 years of experience. The TACS Administrative staff is expanded to two fulltime staff Level 3.
The Staff Specialists are expanded from 3 to 4 fulltime growing a well-established excellent Consultant led service. SWAN is cancelled for 3 years due to the pandemic. The Trauma Fellowship program becomes an accredited post with THE Post Fellowship Training Program of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons.
A new position is established – the Education and Training Manager – and Leanne McKechnie is successfully appointed to run all the educational programs of the Trauma and Acute Care Surgery Unit.
The Nursing Staff of the Trauma Unit is expanded with the appointment of a Trauma CNC 1, LeeAnn Thomas, as well as another CNS 2, Jessica Rix, to complete the after-hours coverage 7 days a week with Sally Forrest. Dr Aditya Benjamin is appointed as a Consultant.
The TACS unit launches its new website and works towards Verification once again, planned for October 2023. SWAN conference recommences, now in its 28th year and moves to a summer date in March from the original Winter July date.