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21 Emergency care systems
  1. Teri Reynolds
  1. Emergency, Trauma and Acute Care, World Health Organisation


Emergency care is an essential part of the health system and serves as the first point of contact for many around the world. Especially when there are logistical or financial barriers to healthcare access, people may present for care only when symptomatic with acute illness or injury. In most cases, the ill and injured present to frontline providers responsible for the care of both children and adults, with emergencies including injuries, communicable and noncommunicable diseases, and complications of pregnancy. Prioritising an integrated approach to early recognition and resuscitation substantially reduces the morbidity and mortality associated with all of these conditions.

This presentation will review the initiatives of the WHO Emergency, Trauma and Acute Care programme designed to support strengthening of emergency care systems. Techniques for identifying system gaps and for developing planning and funding priorities will be discussed, and the presentation will introduce the WHO Emergency Care System Framework. The Framework captures essential emergency care functions at the scene of injury or illness, during transport, and through to emergency unit and early inpatient care. Different systems may achieve each function in different ways, based on available resources, and the Framework allows policy-makers to use these essential system functions to create context-relevant priority action plans.

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