"TRAMAH" Model Seeks To Improve Emergency Response Paper Uses Maryland As Test Region

LINTHICUM, MD, April 20 - A new mathematical model has been developed to improve the response to emergencies by better situating trauma care centers and aeromedical depots. The results are presented in a paper being delivered at the Montreal conference of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS) and the Canadian Operations Research Society (CORS) on Tuesday, April 28.

The model, a Trauma Resource Allocation Model for Ambulances and Hospitals (TRAMAH), assists trauma system planners in better locating their resources with respect to spatial needs and response times. It employs linear programming, a technique commonly used in operations research, to simulate different positioning combinations of trauma centers and helicopters.

Trauma systems are designed to offer much-needed medical treatment to severely injured people in a timely way. The TRAMAH researchers used Maryland, a state that pioneered the trauma systems concept, as a test region. The state has nine trauma centers and eight aeromedical depot sites.

Access Improves To Over 99%

The researchers analyzed the response to 26,774 severe injuries in Maryland between 1992 and 1994. During this period, 94.8% of severely injured residents had access to trauma system resources within 30 minutes and 70.3% had access within 15 minutes.

In contrast, for the same number of resources as the existing Maryland Trauma System, TRAMAH simulated access within 30 minutes for 99.97% - a 5% increase to nearly 100%. Consideration of such simulations could offer life-saving trauma care to hundreds more severely injured people every year.

More Ways To Improve Access

The researchers considered improving access by separately changing the number of trauma centers or the number of helicopter depots rather than considering both types of resources in tandem. The results were especially interesting for Maryland, a sta

Contact: Barry List
410 691-7852
Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences

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