Sudden physical injury requiring immediate medical attention, is an epidemic in the United States. It affects individuals of all ages, races and societal classes and accounts for over 41 million emergency department visits and 2.3 million hospital admissions each year. Additionally, 214,000 people die yearly from traumatic injury, including things such as falls, car crashes and violence. That is one person every three minutes.
The traumatic injury
The staggering death toll is only a superficial assessment of the impact; so that traumatic injury has on our society. For every trauma victim who dies, many more survivors face lifelong physical, mental and financial challenges. Compared to a decade ago, trauma victims requiring hospitalization are increasingly older, more severely injure and have multiple other diseases, which complicates their medical care. Together, fatal and nonfatal injury cost society over US$671 billion annually.
As physicians who treat trauma patients; so they see the substantial impact that traumatic injury has on individual victims, their families and society. As medical researchers, we understand that more research needs to be direct at improving the lifelong challenges associate with traumatic injury.
Elderly people appear to be especially vulnerable, such as former Pres. Jimmy Carter, who suffer a broken hip from a fall on May 13, 2019. For example, in 2013 alone, 2.5 million older adults sustain injuries due to falls. Over 800,000 of these patients were hospitalized, most often due to a traumatic brain injury or a hip fracture.
In 2016, $450 million was portion to the study of all injuries combined. That is $4.5 billion fewer than that allocate for cancer research. In order for traumatic injury victims to experience the same mortality reductions as cancer survivors, we believe that NIH support and research funding must be increased.
More robust trauma
This research funding would allow the development of more robust trauma registries; so that track victims’ long-term outcomes following a trauma. Research that focuses on identifying the effects of traumatic injury on common co-morbid diseases; such as diabetes, heart disease, and osteoporosis, can help us better understand; how treating these diseases in trauma victims can be optimize.
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 dedicate focus and associate funding that have allow the substantial advances in cancer care and quality survivorship.
Reducing violence, ensuring safer roadways and improving quality outcomes from traumatic injury; hence 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 vision for a national trauma care system; hence motivate by the clear aim of zero preventable deaths after injury and minimal trauma-related disability to our troops and every American.