How traumatic injury has become a health care crisis

Excerpts from an article authored by by Lynn Marie Frydrych And Matthew J. Delano, The Conversation

“Traumatic injury, or sudden physical injury requiring immediate medical attention, is an epidemic in the United States. It affects individuals of all ages, races and societal classes .” Nearly a quarter of one millions people die yearly from trauma, “including things such as falls, car crashes and violence. That is one person every three minutes. Trauma is the leading cause of death for individuals from 1 to 46 years and the fourth leading cause of death for all age groups. Traumatic injury affects our schoolchildren, your grandparents, our troops – no one is safe.”

“The worrisome fact is that we still do not know what factors contribute to long-term mortality following trauma. When trauma victims are followed past hospital discharge, studies show that mortality rates increase at an alarming rate, reaching 16% at three years.

“Medical research works to reduce both the risk and burden of human disease. Unfortunately, research funding aimed at improving traumatic injury outcomes is lacking compared to other public health concerns. “

“Additionally, we need to increase societal awareness and national support for traumatic injury. For cancer, there are support ribbons, cancer walks and national television commercials featuring the "faces of cancer" with celebrities urging everyone to support the fight for a world without cancer. It is this dedicated focus and associated funding that have allowed the substantial advances in cancer care and quality survivorship.”

“Reducing violence, ensuring safer roadways and improving quality outcomes from traumatic injury are some answers which are in everyone's best interest. How many more young people must succumb to acts of mass violence – Highlands Ranch, Sandy Hook, Parkland, Mandalay Bay hotel – before we intervene?”

“Traumatic injury can and will impact all of us at one time or another. The 2016 report from the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine outlines a visionfor a national trauma care system motivated by the clear aim of zero preventable deaths after injury and minimal trauma-related disability to our troops and every American.”

“We believe that if the lack traumatic injury funding is not addressed, the U.S. will remain along the current path of increased long-term mortality from preventable injury with limited therapeutic options.”

Jeff Trueman