Improving the Quality of Trauma and Acute Surgical Care in Nunavik: Quantifying the Burden of Injury and Illness


Despite recent advancements and interest in delivery of care to Indigenous populations of Canada, many barriers and challenges remain to be faced. There are many geographical, meteorological, transport and resource management issues to be addressed and better studied regarding this population. Thus, our study aims to examine the delivery of trauma and acute surgical care to the population of Northern Quebec. It is important to mention that there is a great lack of epidemiological resources for this population, hence the great interest in conducting this study.

All trauma and acute surgical cases over the past 10 years, including data resources from on-site medical records at Kuujjuaq’s Centre de Santé Tulattavik de l’Ungava (CSTU) and Puvirnituq’s Inuulitisivik Health Centre (IHC), transport records from Évacuations aéromédicales du Québec (EVAQ) and electronic charts from the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) are examined. At first, patient demographics, injury and transfer characteristics and modifiable risk factors (e.g. seatbelt use, alcohol consumption) are collected. The outcomes that are evaluated include immediate, 24-hour and 30-day mortality; complications such as pneumonia, deep vein thrombosis and wound infections; and readmissions and dispositions.

Gathering information from this population and the trauma and acute surgical care that they receive is crucial to building better policies and targeting practice-changing interventions as a means to ultimately improving outcomes for the patients. At a political and governmental level, data collection and improvement initiatives can provide guidance on priority-setting for modifications to the current system, or new interventions.

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McGill University is located on land which has long served as a site of meeting and exchange amongst Indigenous Peoples, including the Haudenosaunee and Anishinabeg Nations. McGill honours, recognizes, and respects these nations as the traditional stewards of the lands and waters on which peoples of the world now gather. Today, this meeting place is still the home to many Indigenous Peoples from across Turtle Island. We are grateful to have the opportunity to work on this land.

Learn more about Indigenous Initiatives at McGill.

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