10 years of Red Blanket
Ten years ago Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital (RBWH) was the first hospital in Australia to implement the Red Blanket protocol—a decision that’s saved almost 200 lives over the years.
‘Red Blanket’ is a rapid transfer protocol that fast tracks trauma patients with severe blood loss to the operating theatre, giving them the best chance at survival.
Trauma Nurse Practitioner Michael Handy said that adopting a new way of doing things met some resistance in the beginning.
“Like all change, there was resistance in the beginning because it meant letting go of established processes and procedures. But over time staff embraced the Red Blanket protocol and can’t imagine going back because the success of the process is clear,” he said.
“We’ve achieved more than a six-fold reduction ‘time to theatre’ from 157 minutes to 23 minutes—that’s life changing.
“The success of Red Blanket at RBWH comes down to peak collaboration. We’ve embedded it so thoroughly across the hospital that it’s not person or time dependant—it works regardless of who is on shift or what time of day it is.”
Nowadays, most major hospitals in Queensland have adopted the protocol recognising that RBWH was ahead of the pack when it adopted ‘Red Blanket’ back in 2007 and today, remains at the forefront of international best practice.
The RBWH Trauma Service will celebrate its 10-year anniversary at the Queensland Trauma Symposium in February 2018.