The operation of the Trauma Center was announced by the Minister of Health, Michalis Hatzipantela, in the context of a press conference on the operation of the Trauma Center at the Nicosia General Hospital, which took place at noon on Monday. The Center has been operating as a pilot since September 19, 2022.
Initially, the Minister of Health expressed his pride and satisfaction for the presentation of “a project that is related to specialization and is called upon to cover gaps of years in the treatment of trauma in Cyprus”, as he said.
The Ministry of Health, pointed out Mr. Hatzipantela, “listened to the dictates of the times” and “did not hesitate to recognize the weaknesses in the existing field of trauma in Cyprus”. He pointed out that “the lack of appropriate infrastructure for the implementation of the indicated international scientific trauma protocols makes the treatment of polytrauma insufficient and fragmentary”.
Furthermore, the Minister noted that the study for upgrading the trauma system which was prepared by the Director of Trauma Surgery at USC, Professor Dimitris Dimitriadis and Dr. Chrysantho Georgiou, Director of the Surgical Clinic of the Nicosia Hospital, dictated the need to reorganize and upgrade the Trauma System and treatment of multiple trauma, through the creation of a “Level 1 Trauma Center”.
Mr. Hatzipantela spoke of “an extremely important specialization project with visible benefits in terms of improving quality, research, education and care”, which will facilitate the multi-injured person, who after his discharge from the hospital will continue uninterruptedly to he visits it since he needs long-term follow-up.
In addition, he stated that the Ministry of Health submitted a proposal to the Council of Ministers, based on which the creation of a Pan-Cypriot Trauma Center at the Nicosia General Hospital and the establishment of a National Trauma Committee that will further promote the implementation of the project were approved.
The Minister of Health explained that the Committee is subordinate to the Ministry of Health, with the President of the General Director of the Ministry of Health and members from the OKYpY (Trauma Surgeon, Head of the Ambulance Directorate of the OKypY), the Pan-Cyprus Society of Trauma and Emergency Surgery, the Pan-Cyprus Surgical Society of Cyprus Medical Association, external expert, representative of the Trauma Center, representative of the Cyprus Police and representative of the Ministry of Defense.
“The institutionalization of the operation of the Trauma Center has now become a reality as another measure to improve the quality and upgrade the services provided in the Health sector in Cyprus”, concluded Mr. Hatzipantela.
For her part, Dr. Christina Giannaki, Director General of the Ministry of Health and President of the National Trauma Committee, noted that the study compiled by Dr. Dimitriadis and Georgiou highlighted trauma as a disease and not as a random event, as well as the structural weaknesses in field of trauma in Cyprus due to the outdated operating system and inadequate infrastructure, the fragmented treatment of trauma on the island”.
Dr. Giannaki announced that between February 19-25 the training of the three Trauma Center surgeons will take place at Tel HaShomer University Clinic in Israel, adding that due to her good relations with the hospital in question, she intervened so that OKYpY would not pay either one euro for their training, except for their plane ticket and food.
Furthermore, he said that a Strategy of the National Commission will be prepared in order to modernize the Trauma System. He added that the creation of a Trauma File and the preparation of prevention programs are promoted.
Professor Dimitris Dimitriadis, Director of Trauma Surgery at USC and external expert of the National Trauma Committee, expressed his satisfaction with the creation of the Trauma Center in Cyprus “because it is the happy end of a long effort” and congratulated the Minister of Health and Dr. Chrysantho Georgiou “for this important success”.
Also, he said that scientific studies have shown that in severe trauma in organized Trauma Centers mortality is reduced by about 25%, permanent disabilities are significantly reduced and costs treatment is lower.
The Professor added that he accepted “with great joy” the proposal of the Cypriot government to participate as an expert in the National Trauma Committee.
Dr. Chrysanthos Georgiou, Director of the Nicosia Hospital Surgery Clinic and head of the Trauma Center, pointed out that the job of the Trauma Center is to reduce deaths from injuries with prevention programs and to reduce potentially predictable deaths with modern protocols. Furthermore, he spoke of a recent investigation in Cyprus which showed that there are significant delays and inferior results in the treatment of the injured.
Furthermore, he explained that the philosophy of the Trauma Center is to establish a minimal health care system that should be received by the injured person in a 24-hour period. “Where there are organized trauma systems, deaths are reduced, specifically premature mortality by 30%, delayed mortality by 60%,” he pointed out.
Dr. Georgiou said that the Trauma Center consists of five surgeons, adding that the surgeon is at the hospital 24 hours a day. In addition, he said that when the trauma team is called, the surgeon goes to First Aid within three minutes, greatly reducing the time to treat the injured. Modern protocols and new forms for recording the injured are being used, he underlined, adding that there are still several challenges, such as the preparation of transport protocols, research and training.
When asked about the number of beds available at the Trauma Center, Dr. Georgiou stated that the Surgical Clinic of the Nicosia Hospital initially allocated four beds, while the upgrade of the reception area for the injured is planned. At the same time, he said that the creation of Intensive Care Unit beds is being discussed. “The Center is new, it needs its time to “lay down”, he said.
Furthermore, he clarified that the Center started to operate as a pilot on September 19, 2022, to identify any mistakes and weaknesses.< /p>
Answering the question whether the rest of the cities of Cyprus will also be served, Dr. Georgiou explained that the Center is national and aims to provide tertiary specialized care. “City hospitals are dealing with the incidents within their capabilities. If they judge that an incident exceeds their capabilities, they refer it to Nicosia”, he concluded.