The John Hunter Hospital is one of 7 Adult Major Trauma Centres and one of only 3 Paediatric Major Trauma Centres in NSW. As such, the John Hunter Hospital’s Adult Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) play a very important role in providing critical care services to severely injured patients of a population of close to 1 million people within the Hunter and New England regions.

Critically injured patients can arrived from anywhere in the area to the JHH ICU and PICU transferred by either the Pre-hospital or Inter-hospital Hunter Retrieval Teams. Once at John Hunter Hospital patients are able to receive elective or emergency surgery in neurosurgery, cardiothoracic, orthopaedics, plastics, paediatrics, as well as interventional radiology services.

There are also close to 1,700 trauma presentations to the emergency department to which the ICU responds as part of the Trauma Call Team. In 2018 there were more than 1,350 adult trauma hospital admissions, and 203 paediatric trauma hospital admissions. There were 226 adult admissions to ICU (more than 1 every other day) of severely injured patients, evidenced by an average Injury Severity Score (ISS) of 23 and average APACHE 3 score of 52. There were also 30 severely injured paediatric admissions to PICU with and average ISS of 20.

Senior and junior ICU medical staff get the chance to work in a multidisciplinary environment when looking after severely injured patients. ICU trainees have the opportunity to be exposed to all aspects of trauma care including retrieval medicine, emergency management and resuscitation, operative and post-operative care, and rehabilitation services. There are state-of-the-art radiology, haematology and transfusion, and pathology services available at all times. Research and education are cornerstones of the service we provide due to the world-leading researchers who work at John Hunter Hospital, the hospital’s and ICU’s continuous involvement in clinical trials, and the close ties with the University of Newcastle and the Hunter Medical Research Institute. The combination of all of the above makes John Hunter Hospital a leading centre in trauma and a great place for ICU trainees to develop.