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The art of saving life: Interaction of the initial trauma care system from a cognitive science persepctive
Linköping University, Department of Computer and Information Science.
2011 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Trauma care is the treatment of patients with injuries caused by external forces, for instance car crashes, assaults or fall accidents. These urgent patients typically arrive at the hospital’s Emergency Department, where they are treated by an interdisciplinary team of physicians and nurses, who collaborate to identify and address life-threatening injuries.

In this thesis, the urgent phase of trauma care has been explored through observations of trauma calls and interviews with trauma care professionals, with the purpose of mapping the workflow and providing a basis for a discussion of IT systems within trauma radiology. The professionals, procedures and tools involved are collectively described as the initial trauma care system. There has been a focus on interaction between the units of this system, as well as on how decisions regarding treatment are made, often with the help of medical imaging.

The initial trauma care system functions under significant time pressure, striving towards the well-defined objective of saving the life of the patient. To a great extent the system relies on standardized procedures, aiming for screening life-threatening injuries. The trauma team features a clear hierarchy and distinct roles, where the team leader role is considered vital for the team’s performance. Experience is valued and important for everyone, especially since the team often makes decisions, that may affect the future of the patient, based on incomplete information about the situation. Therefore, CT (computed tomography) images offer valuable decision-making support.

The respondents are fairly satisfied with the current tools for viewing and manipulating radiological images. Little support for the need of improved or novel IT systems in trauma radiology is found, as is the use for 3D visualization of radiological images in this domain. Informants recognize communication failures and lacking teamwork as the major problems in trauma care. Difficulties like this may be decreased by education and training regarding these issues.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. , 69 p.
Keyword [en]
ethnography, medical imaging, radiology, trauma, emergency care, cognitive science, distributed cognition
Keyword [sv]
etnografi, medicinsk bildbehandling, radiologi, trauma, akutvård, kognitionsvetenskap, distribuerad kognition
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-70704ISRN: LIU-IDA/KOGVET-A--11/013--SEOAI: diva2:441291
Subject / course
Cognitive science programme
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Available from: 2011-09-15 Created: 2011-09-15 Last updated: 2011-09-15Bibliographically approved

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Dahlbom, Gro
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