Background: Trauma continues to be a major health problem worldwide, particularly in the developing world, with high mortality and morbidity. Yet most developing countries lack an organized trauma system. Furthermore, developing countries do not have in place any accreditation process for trauma centers; thus, no accepted standard assessment tools exist to evaluate their trauma services. Aim: The aims of this study were to evaluate the trauma system in Albania, using the basic trauma criteria of the American College of Surgeons/Committee on Trauma (ACS/COT) as assessment tools, and to provide the Government with a situational analysis relative to these criteria. Materials and methods: We used the ACS/COT basic criteria as assessment tools to evaluate the trauma system in Albania. We conducted a series of semi-structured interviews, unstructured interviews, and focus groups with all stakeholders at the Ministry of Health, at the University Trauma Hospital (UTH) based in Tirana (the capital city), and at ten regional hospitals across the country. Results: Albania has a dedicated national trauma center that serves as the only tertiary center, plus ten regional hospitals that provide some trauma care. However, overall, its trauma system is in need of major reforms involving all essential elements in order to meet the basic requirements of a structured trauma system. Conclusion: The ACS/COT basic criteria can be used as assessment tools to evaluate trauma care in developing countries. Further studies are needed in other developing countries to validate the applicability of these criteria.
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