• SSMC wrapped up its week-long event alongside key partners to spread awareness and improve education among general public and healthcare professionals about injury prevention and lifesaving first aid techniques

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – Sheikh Shakhbout Medical City (SSMC), one of the UAE’s largest hospitals for serious and complex care and a joint-venture partnership between Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA) and Mayo Clinic, has concluded the third edition of Trauma and Injury Prevention Week, a week-long event that seeks to raise awareness among general public and healthcare professionals about injury prevention and the latest medical breakthroughs in first-response emergency and trauma care.

The event, hosted at SSMC in Abu Dhabi between Nov. 13 and 17, 2023, was in partnership with Abu Dhabi Public Health Center of the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi (ADHPC), Abu Dhabi Police, the UAE Armed Forces, Abu Dhabi Integrated Transport Centre (ITC) and Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Development Authority (ECA).

Inaugurated by Dr. Saleh Saif Al Ali, Executive Director of the Centre of Emergency Preparedness and Response (CEPAR) at the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi (DoH), SSMC’s Trauma and Injury Prevention Week opening symposium featured prominent figures from ADHPC, ITC, and ECA sharing their efforts and strategies towards injury prevention in the Emirate. The event also welcomed senior delegates from partner organizations and key players in emergency and trauma response, such as the Abu Dhabi Trauma Task Force, Abu Dhabi Civil Defense, and the UAE Medical Service Corps (MSC).

Dr. Saleh Saif Al Ali, Executive Director of the Centre of Emergency Preparedness and Response (CEPAR) at the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi (DoH) said: “As the regulator of the healthcare sector in the Emirate, the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi is constantly striving to collaborate with partners in the healthcare sector. We seek to guarantee that members of our community have access to excellent healthcare services, thus ensuring their safety and well-being. This collaborative effort aligns with our commitment to enhancing the sector’s preparedness for potential emergencies and providing high-quality emergency and trauma care to our patients.  By leveraging the most advanced treatment protocols, technologies, and communication solutions, we ensure that our patients receive comprehensive care at every step. This contributes to our vision of 'A Healthier Abu Dhabi’ and positions the Emirate as a global destination for healthcare.”

Following the opening symposium, Dr. Saleh Fares Al Ali toured 12 booths set up as part of Trauma and Injury Prevention Week, led by SSMC leadership. The tour showcased cutting-edge technology and equipment used in trauma care from local and international providers.

Dr. Naser Ammash, chief executive officer of SSMC, said: “The true essence of our military-civilian partnership at SSMC lies in our ability to work together raising awareness and educating the public on the importance of injury prevention while at the same time ensuring that we are building the best capabilities and are training our staff to meet the needs of trauma victims. As a major trauma center in Abu Dhabi, it is our duty and social responsibility to continuously enhance the speed and quality of service we provide to trauma patients.

By working alongside our partners at the Center for Emergency Preparedness and Response at the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi, the Ministry of Defense and the Trauma, Burn and Rehabilitation Medicine team from the United States, SSMC is best positioned to provide the best outcome for critically injured patients, while at the same time providing a world-class clinical training platform.”

Insights from SSMC show that accidental falls, motor vehicle collisions and burns are some of the major causes of trauma injury in the UAE. SSMC's Trauma Program integrates all surgical, medical, nursing and allied health specialties involved in trauma care at the hospital, ensuring our integrated team is well equipped and ready to provide the most trusted care to trauma patients.

Dr. Ammash added: “Our most recent data clearly demonstrate we are heading in the right direction with improved outcome while trauma injury severity is increasing, a remarkable achievement of this military –civilian partnership, which we are very proud of.”

Dr. Marcelo Ribeiro, Division Chair of Trauma, Critical Care, and Acute Care Surgery at SSMC, stated: “We mark another year of working with the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi and our other partners, and we are delighted to return this year with an even larger exhibition and program that sees nearly double the number of booths on display and increased engagement from healthcare professionals and the community alike. Through active collaboration and participation in trauma care, we are better placed to serve the needs of the community locally and regionally as Abu Dhabi’s appointed Trauma Center.”

Throughout the week, attendees had the opportunity to visit the booths at SSMC to learn about various first-response topics and programs. Attendees were also able to participate in the ‘Stop the Bleed’ training, an internationally accredited module, which empowers members of the community to effectively respond and control bleeding following an injury, and bystander CPR training.  

Visitors were able to take part in educational programs led by the Abu Dhabi Public Health Center of the DoH around child safety, elderly injury prevention, and road safety. Additionally, the Civil Defense and Abu Dhabi Police station hosted sessions around injury prevention, such as preventing fatal bleeding injuries, dealing with common injuries in children of all ages, burn prevention and first aid.

Abu Dhabi Central Blood Bank also drove awareness about the vital role of blood donations in emergency and trauma care, and hosted a blood donation drive at the hospital on Nov. 16 and 17.

Dr. Ahmed Al Sayari, Division Chair of General Surgery and Medical Director of the Trauma Program at SSMC, concluded: “With SSMC being the dedicated Trauma Center for Abu Dhabi, we have actioned plans to enhance our capabilities to provide trauma care. Several of our staff members are preparing to undertake advanced certifications when it comes to grading or assigning the severity of trauma patients in the registry. Many of our healthcare experts have already completed training courses offered by the Society of Trauma Nurses and the American Trauma Society in management, coding data collection, and performance improvement. All of this has been made possible through collaborative efforts between the Trauma Program, our Education Shield, and the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi – with the ultimate aim of providing prompt, quality healthcare to all those in emergency situations in the UAE and the wider region.”

About Sheikh Shakhbout Medical City (SSMC)

Sheikh Shakhbout Medical City (SSMC) is a joint venture between Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA), the UAE’s largest health care network, and Mayo Clinic, a non-profit global leader in medical care, education and research headquartered in the United States of America. Established in 2019, SSMC is the largest tertiary hospital in the UAE and serves to elevate the provision of health care services in the nation under the mandate of the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030.

Supported by the latest diagnostic and treatment modalities available, SSMC offers care in 46 specialties. A team of locally and internationally trained physicians and allied health staff work seamlessly together, which promotes comprehensive interdisciplinary learning, allowing SSMC to become a leading hub for integrated patient-centric medical services in the region.

As the region’s leading tertiary facility, SSMC has 742 patient beds, 18 operating theatres and includes a hybrid operating room, 26 neonatal intensive care units and the UAE’s largest pathology lab.

For more information on Sheikh Shakhbout Medical City or to book an appointment, visit https://ssmc.ae/.

About SEHA

The Abu Dhabi Health Services Company PJSC–SEHA – is an independent, public joint stock company created to develop the curative activities of the public healthcare system in Abu Dhabi. The company owns and operates all the public hospitals and clinics of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

SEHA is part of ADQ, one of the region’s largest holding companies with a broad portfolio of major enterprises spanning key sectors of Abu Dhabi’s diversified economy.

SEHA is committed to continuous improvement of customer care to recognized international standards and providing the community with world-class healthcare. SEHA operates 13 hospitals with 3,385 beds, 70 ambulatory care, family care and urgent care centers and 2 blood banks. Its facilities accommodate 117,162 inpatients annually and conduct 43,262 surgeries, as well as treating more than five million outpatients. SEHA is one of the largest integrated healthcare providers in the Middle East with more than 18,000 doctors, nurses, ancillary care, and administrative personnel. Learn more at www.seha.ae.

About Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit organization committed to innovation in clinical practice, education and research, and providing compassion, expertise and answers to everyone who needs healing. Visit the Mayo Clinic News Network for additional Mayo Clinic news and Mayo Clinic Facts for more information about Mayo.