According to a new research study, one in five individuals may unnecessarily pass away as a result of injuries associated with gunshots, car crashes, and other accidents. These findings take on a new era of importance as a result of the fact that car accidents are so common today, and in light of the fact that mass casualties like the recent Orlando shooting are happening on a more regular basis.
The shooting in Orlando happened just several blocks from a big trauma care hospital and this geographic location certainly saved lives. However, the call to action in the Orlando massacre highlights that many areas of the country do not have quick access to top trauma care, and a group of government advisors suggests putting together a national system that could help military expertise to work on the home front by taking lessons learned from the battlefield about trauma care and improving access to these facilities in the U.S. This research comes from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine report aiming for zero preventable deaths after injuries and a side goal of a minimizing disability among those who survive.
Trauma is, in fact, the leading cause of death for individuals in the US aged 45 and younger, claiming the lives of 148,000 individuals in 2014 alone and costing up to $670 billion in medical expenses and lost productivity. According to the report, there are numerous issues that can impact death rates which vary tremendously between the worst performing and the best performing trauma centers. Due to the fact that findings from the battlefield show that 20% of deaths could be prevented with ideal care, that could translate into up to 81 patients per day passing away in the United States, which could be prevented.
Creating an expert workforce could be a critical component of addressing these trauma statistics whether it is dealing with trauma centers, first responders or rehabilitation care. The majority of Americans, in fact, two-thirds, have access to the most advanced kind of trauma center known as level one, by air or by land within a one-hour radius. However, only one in four individuals living in a rural area have access to a high-level trauma center compared with practically 90% of individuals living in the city. In fact, in some regions, up to one-third of critically injured patients are never transferred to a level one or level two trauma center. Hospitals that are not capable of dealing with severe injuries ultimately have to transfer those patients and those patients face a 25% higher risk of dying than those who are taken immediately to an expert trauma center.
Car accidents are a leading cause of injuries across California, and access to quality medical care as soon as possible after an accident can make a big difference for someone’s ability to heal.