It may seem hard to believe but, as recently as the early 1990s, the mortality rate of people entering hospitals in Quebec with traumatic injuries hovered around 50%, meaning half the people who made it to an emergency room with a life-threatening injury didn’t make it home.

Since the establishment of Quebec’s province-wide trauma system in 1993, led by Dr. David S. Mulder, that rate has dropped dramatically to around 5%. Nevertheless, trauma remains the number one cause of death among Canadians under 44 years of age.

The Dr. David S. Mulder Trauma Centre is one of only three Level 1 adult trauma centres in Quebec and the key treatment centre for people with the most complex and serious injuries. Every year, we treat over 1,500 patients coming in with complex casualties mainly caused by vehicle crashes, falls, bike or pedestrian accidents, as well as stabbings and gunshot wounds. We serve all adults south of Highway 40 as well as the Montérégie region and Northern Quebec, including the Cree and Inuit communities, covering a wide territory of over two million people.

Most people don’t realize how devastating trauma and injury is in our region. It’s the cause of the most years of life lost. Our trauma centre is one of the busiest in the country. It’s incredibly important that we offer world-class trauma care and that we keep working to find more effective ways of treating, and preventing multi-system injuries.
Dr. Tarek Razek, Chief of Trauma and Co-Director of the Centre for Global Surgery

Large Scale Emergency Readiness

On May 26, 2016, the Montreal General Hospital (MGH) held a Code Orange disaster simulation training session. In this scenario, a train crashes in Saint-Henri causing multiple casualties. A mental health multidisciplinary team, composed of psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, spiritual care specialists and volunteers, was activated along with the trauma team, and put to the test. For the community, it is reassuring to know that the hospital has a solid training program and expertise in handling emergency situations.

REBOA Program

REBOA ‘‘Resuscitative Endovascular Balloon Occlusion of the Aorta’’ is a technique used in trauma for patients that are rapidly bleeding to death from injuries to their chest, abdomen or pelvis.

In trauma, everything is a question of time: how soon patients arrive after their accident, and how fast the medical teams assess them and treat their injuries. In 2018, the MGH trauma team launched the REBOA program to test the use of new catheters designed to stop massive haemorrhaging. Within just a few months, they were able to save the lives of seven patients thanks to this device and the training provided to medical team members.

Centre for Global Surgery: Facilitating Assistance in Canada and Abroad

In a growing number of developing countries as well as in remote regions of Northern Québec, our trauma experts work actively to share their knowledge in an effort to reduce injuries and mortality rates. To achieve this, they have developed education, research and multidisciplinary exchange programs to help developing nations to set up trauma systems which, as they have in Québec, can drastically reduce mortality rates, by concentrating expertise where it is most needed. To date, programs have been initiated in Haiti, Nepal, Ukraine and in 32 African nations, mostly thanks to alliances forged with the World Health Organization, the Red Cross and Red Crescent, as well as local universities, hospitals and governments.

Traumatic Brain Injury Program

Specializing in acute neurotrauma and early rehabilitation, the MGH multidisciplinary Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Program treats over 1300 inpatients and outpatients each year from Montreal, Montérégie and northern Quebec. For more information about this program, please click here. 

Injury Prevention Program

The Injury Prevention Program’s goal is to decrease risky behaviour and traumatic injury. It promotes prevention through collaborative partnerships, presentations, workshops, kiosks, campaigns and community events. For more information about this program, please click here.