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Performance improvement through best practice team management: human factors in complex trauma
  1. Simon Mercer1,
  2. G S Arul2 and
  3. H E J Pugh3
  1. 1Anaesthetic Department, Aintree University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Liverpool, UK
  2. 2212 Field Hospital, Sheffield, UK
  3. 316 Medical Regiment, 144 Parachute Medical Squadron, Colchester, UK
  1. Correspondence to Surg Cdr Simon Mercer, Anaesthetic Department, Aintree University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Longmoor Lane Aintree, Liverpool L9 7AL, UK; simonjmercer{at}


Human factors or non-technical skills are now commonplace in the medical literature, having taken the lead from the airline and nuclear industries and more recently Formula One motor racing. They have been suggested as playing a vital role in the success of the trauma teams in recent conflicts. This article outlines the background to human factors, referring to early papers and reports and also outlines high profile cases that highlight their importance. We then describe the importance of human factors in the deployed setting and some of the lessons that have been learnt from current conflicts.

  • EDUCATION & TRAINING (see Medical Education & Training)
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