In the treatment of severely injured patients, the term 'damage control radiology' has been used to parallel the modern concept of damage control surgery and the allied development of continuous damage control resuscitation from patient retrieval, through all transfers, to appropriate primary treatment. The aims of damage control radiology are (i) rapid identification of life-threatening injuries including bleeding sites, (ii) identification or exclusion of head or spinal injury, and (iii) prompt and accurate triage of patients to the operating theatre for thoracic, abdominal, or both surgeries or the angiography suite for endovascular haemorrhage control. If we are to achieve these aims, patients must have immediate access to modern multidetector computed tomography (MDCT) which is without doubt the most potent weapon in the diagnostic armamentarium. The most severely injured patients are those who have the most to benefit from early diagnosis and life-saving therapies. The traditional teaching that these patients should go immediately to surgery is challenged by technological developments in MDCT and recent clinical evidence.