With new surgeon on staff, HSA expands trauma care The recent addition of an orthopaedic and trauma surgeon to its staff and a comprehensive refitting of its trauma service equipment, have enabled the Health Services Authority (HSA) to expand the range of treatments for lower limb injuries and fractures.As a result, the Orthopaedic and Trauma unit is now able to perform advanced trauma care, significantly decreasing the need for local patients to go overseas.Dr Toni-Karri Pakarinen, consultant orthopaedic and trauma surgeon, began working at the HSA at the beginning of May. He brings more than 10 years of Level I Trauma Centre experience to the hospital having previously worked in the same position at the Tampere University Hospital, Finland.Dr Pakarinen joins Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgeon Dr. Pekko Kuusela and together the surgeons have been using new techniques and equipment to treat and manage complex trauma cases.In June, they performed a surgical procedure on a patient who had an upper end femur fracture, and in less than a week post-operation, the patient was able to walk independently. The operation was done using a surgical nailing system for the treatment of complex lower limb fractures.This system was recently acquired and involves the insertion of nails into the fracture site through small holes, making it less invasive compared to previous methods.“The new, modern equipment enables us to manage more versatile and complex trauma cases. They are also more minimally invasive compared to their predecessors and provide more stability for fracture sites to enable early mobilization of affected extremity. This usually leads to better healing of the fracture and faster recovery for patients,” said Dr. Pakarinen.“HSA is currently the only local hospital that has this nailing system readily available,” stated Dr Kuusela.However, the doctors emphasised that surgery is just one part of trauma care; physiotherapy and rehabilitation are extremely important components of the treatment as well.New trauma care equipment have been ordered and are expected to arrive in a few months. “By the end of the year we will have completed our entire trauma instrumentation system for every type of trauma except spine,” said Dr. Pakarinen.“These long-awaited systems benefit the entire island. There will no longer be a need to send people overseas because we have the equipment to provide complete orthopaedic and trauma care here at the HSA,” said Dr. Pekko.[caption id="attachment_1194" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Photo caption – (L-r): Drs Pekko Kuusela and Toni-Karri Pakarinen are in the process of revamping their trauma care equipment so that patients with complex trauma cases can be treated on island instead of going overseas.[/caption]