Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) recently opened the new Trauma and Emergency Center at Hamad General Hospital, with an official inauguration by HH the Amir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. 

The opening ceremony of the new Trauma and Emergency Center was attended by HH the Amir, HE Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani, Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, and a number of HMC senior doctors and officials.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, HE Dr Hanan Mohammed Al Kuwari, Minister of Public Health, said that the new facility at Hamad General Hospital (HGH) is an important milestone in the process of providing care for emergencies and accidents. 

‘The inauguration of the new Trauma and Emergency Center underlines our ongoing commitment to expanding capacity and improving services. This commitment will ensure that the people of Qatar will continue to receive the best possible care delivered in leading-edge facilities, now and for many years to come,’ she said.

‘The new Trauma and Emergency Center – four times the size of the former Emergency Department – offers a greatly improved patient experience. This new facility will serve as a beacon of excellence in our network of emergency services.’

HH the Amir was given an extensive tour of the new building, where he was shown the latest medical equipment and technologies in care and diagnosis, and an oxygen therapy room, as well as an explanation on how the medical facilities link the new building with the relevant departments at HGH.

The state-of-the-art Trauma and Emergency Center at HGH is the largest in the region and represents a significant expansion of trauma and emergency services. As well as a new emergency department, it also offers trauma, urgent and critical care services, with a dedicated ramp to the first floor for ambulance arrivals at the hospital. 

Diagnostic equipment at the centre includes an MRI unit, four ultrasound and three CT scanners, and seven X-ray rooms, and improvement on the equipment available at the previous emergency centre, leading to a reduction in waiting times for radiation imaging.

The centre receives approximately 1,500 visitors a day. There are 256 beds in single rooms, some of which are critical isolation units. According to Acting Chief Medical Officer at HMC Dr Abdulla al Ansari: ‘Walk-in patients arriving at the new Trauma and Emergency Center’s Emergency Department will be triaged upon arrival and after initial assessment patients will either be admitted to the hospital or discharged. To further boost capacity, the See and Treat area of the former Emergency Department will also remain open.’

Up to 2,000 cases are seen at the Hamad Trauma Center annually, the main trauma facility situated on the first floor of the building. Patients brought to the centre by air ambulance are collected from the multistory car park by an ambulance, and all patients will be able to access immediate care, resuscitation and stabilisation, as appropriate. 

The five trauma and emergency rooms are fully equipped and can be converted into mini operating theatres should there be a mass casualty incident or accident requiring immediate surgical intervention. If necessary, patients can be quickly transferred to the Trauma or Surgical Intensive Care Units or the operating theatres at HGH via the link bridge on the first floor.

Fast facts for orientation purposes:

The ground floor is for walk-in emergencies and the first floor is for critical and trauma care patients, while the second floor is set aside for urgent care patients, and the third floor for patients requiring isolation or monitoring before being discharged.

Another new first at HMC

The new Hyperbaric Therapy Unit has also officially opened, another of the many cutting-edge therapies that are constantly being introduced to Qatar by HMC.

The unit has a revolutionary hyperbaric oxygen therapy chamber, the first of its kind in Qatar. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy has been available at HMC since 2013, whereby patients breathe pure oxygen in a pressurised chamber, promoting the growth of new blood vessels and the healing of ischaemic wounds. The new unit has significantly increased the capacity to provide treatment – the new hyperbaric oxygen therapy chamber is the largest in the country, being able to accommodate 18 people, and is one of the first of its kind in the region.

Two types of chambers are used for hyperbaric oxygen therapy: monoplace chambers for a single occupant, and multi-place chambers for several patients at the same time. The new multi-place chamber replaces the previous monoplace chamber, so not only can more patients be treated simultaneously, but it also allows the healthcare professional to be inside the chamber at the same time.  

There are dozens of uses for hyperbaric oxygen therapy, like damage from radiation therapy, compromised skin grafts, and acute thermal burn injuries. Evidence has shown that it may be effective for neurological conditions associated with reduced oxygen levels – eg stroke and traumatic brain injury – and neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. 

Those suitable for the treatment will undergo a full safety briefing, a physical examination, and screening to ensure there are no prohibited items about the person, like contact lenses, hair products, nail polish, and battery-operated equipment. This is due to the high combustibility of the gas and the high atmospheric pressue. Each session can last around 2.5 hours, with a treatment cycle of up to 40 sessions. Patients can relax in comfortable seats and watch TV while undergoing the treatment.

Do you have a medical emergency?

If you need serious and vital emergency care, visit these emergency departments:

• Trauma and Emergency Center at Hamad General Hospital • Women’s Wellness and Research Center • The Cuban Hospital • Heart Hospital • Al Wakra Hospital • Al Khor Hospital 

Minor cases should be treated at primary healthcare centres – patients may then be referred to the appropriate emergency centre if so required. 

Emergency services number: 999 | Emergency services for the deaf: 992

Author: Sarah Palmer

This feature is an editorial from the ‘Health and Beauty’ section in the latest issue of Marhaba – Issue 76, which comes out in December 2019.

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