Archive for the ‘Trauma Facts and Stats’ Category

CDC Reports on Higher Death Rates in Non-Metro Areas

Tuesday, January 17th, 2017

The January 13th edition of the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) provides an assessment of the leading causes of death in non-metro and metro areas between 1999 and 2014, concluding that higher rates of death occur in non-metro areas of the U.S.

After calculating age-adjusted death rates and potentially excess death in metro and non-metro areas for the five leading causes of death–heart disease, cancer, unintentional injury, chronic lower respiratory disease, and stroke–the CDC concluded that more than half of all deaths (57.5%) from unintentional injury, specifically, that occur outside metro areas were potentially excess (potentially preventable). In metro areas, that rate is 39.2%.

The report suggests the higher rate of excess death in more rural areas of the country may be related to a variety of factors including less access to health care services, further distance to trauma care centers, and reduced EMS services as well as behavioral factors like physical inactivity during leisure and lower use of seat belts.

“Routine tracking of potentially excess deaths in nonmetropolitan areas might help public health departments identify emerging health problems, monitor known problems, and focus interventions to reduce preventable deaths in these areas,” the report concludes.

Op-ed in JAMA Surgery Decries Limited Funding for Trauma Research

Thursday, January 5th, 2017

Despite significant advances made in U.S. trauma care and systems over the past 50 years, traumatic injury continues to be an unacceptable and increasing societal burden, argues Kimberly Davis, MD, in an opinion piece published in JAMA Surgery in December. Davis is a professor in the Dept. of Surgery at Yale University and a member of the executive committee of CNTR, the Coalition for National Trauma Research. The National Trauma Institute is a member of CNTR.

Davis and co-authors Timothy Fabian, MD, and William Cioffi, MD, point to the lack of a centralized national home and stable funding stream for trauma research to explain how this public health problem has reached epidemic proportions. “…[S]ince 1966 the mortality rate has increased 0.66% per year,” they say. And the annual costs are astronomical: $214 billion for fatal traumatic injury and $457 billion for non-fatal injuries, including healthcare and lost productivity.

Davis et al. consider the billions of dollars in research funding directed toward Ebola and Zika–both serious public health issues in recent years, yet neither impacting the United States to any degree–and wonder about the lack of attention paid to trauma. “It is shocking that nearly 150,000 deaths every year do not warrant a similar response.”

Read the article. (doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2016.4625)

New Book Celebrates the Progress of Trauma Care in America

Monday, November 7th, 2016

Dr. Catherine Musemeche is a student of medical history and a former pediatric surgeon who weaves vivid personal anecdotes throughout her comprehensive telling of the evolution of trauma care in America—from the Civil War through the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Recently published by University Press of New England, HURT—The Inspiring, Untold Story of Trauma Care reads like an adventure story, complete with compelling prose and action-packed portraits of real-life heroes like R Adams Cowley, James Styner, Deke Farrington, Sue Baker, John Paul Stapp and plenty of others. HURT is both a celebration of how far the trauma care system has traveled in an astonishingly short amount of time and a reminder of what is left to accomplish.

A board-certified Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, Dr. Musemeche and has flown on rescue helicopters, trained and practiced in trauma centers in Houston and Chicago and operated on hundreds of trauma victims of all ages. Her work is meticulously cited and includes references to articles by Thomas Scalea, Martin Croce, David Livingston, Brent Eastman and many others with whom the trauma care community is very familiar.

This is a great book for ER residents, aspiring trauma surgeons, nurses or anyone in the medical field who is interested in knowing about the history of the U.S. trauma system and standards. Order a copy today, or catch Dr. Musemeche’s next book reading at BookWoman in Austin, TX on Saturday, November 26 at 1:00 p.m. Check the BookWoman calendar for updates.

New Jersey Trauma Surgeon Provides a Dose of Reality in Star-Ledger Op-Ed

Tuesday, September 20th, 2016

Dr. Terrence Curran, a trauma and critical care surgeon at Morristown Memorial Hospital, wrote an op-ed for the New Jersey Star-Ledger in support of introduced legislation to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving. He suggests that widespread public education campaigns are needed to change behaviors and lower the toll of traumatic injury on our highways.

“The word ‘accident’ is not part of the vocabulary because trauma is a very preventable disease,” Curran says. He shares some of the realities of traumatic injury that he sees on a daily basis–for those lucky enough to live–damaged bodies, agonizing months in rehabilitation, permanent disabilities and suffering.

“I applaud Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-Middlesex), Nicholas Chiaravalloti (D-Hudson) and Patrick Diegnan (D-Middlesex) for introducing legislation to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving,” Curran says, “but we should not wait for that bill to pass to increase the fight against dangerous driving behaviors.”

“While both the National Institute of Health and the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program of the Department of Defense fund trauma research, the level of spending does not equal the magnitude of the problem,” he adds.

Read the full op-ed.


CDC Reports that Injury Cost the U.S. $671 Billion in 2013

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

In its latest Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (October 2), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) provides new estimates for the annual financial toll of injury in the U.S. Combined medical and work loss costs amount to $671 billion in 2013, the year studied. Fatal injuries were found to contribute $214 billion of that total, and non-fatal injuries, $457 billion.

The data presented in this report indicate significant increases in the cost of both fatal  and nonfatal injury. The increases are related to changes in methodology and in injury trends, including increases in poisoning, suicide and falls.

Among the many findings, the report shows that falls and transportation-related injuries account for the majority of work loss costs associated with non-fatal injuries.

Read the complete report here–click on the Weekly Report link

Trauma Research Lacks NIH Investment

Friday, January 30th, 2015

“The diseases that affect the most Americans don’t always attract more research funding from the government,” declares a January 15, 2015 article on Vox. Indeed, the chart provided by Dot Data Blog illustrating the difference between the percent of total NIH funding and the percent of total burden of disease for 27 disease categories shows conditions like asthma, stroke and–notably–trauma (injuries) receiving a disproportionately small investment in research.

“This articulates loudly – and puts data behind – the fact that when viewed in the context of burden (morbidity and mortality) to society, trauma and injury is at the bottom of the scale,” noted Sharon Smith, NTI’s executive director.  ”If the scale were to include a Quality Adjusted Life Year analysis, the disproportion would be even more apparent.”

The article highlights a disparity that is decades in the making and leaves many essential research questions unanswered. Click here to read snippets from national reports since 1966 that call for more funding that has never been granted.

NTI and the other national organizations who are part of the Coalition for National Trauma Research (CNTR) head to Capitol Hill next month to advocate for increased funding.


New Research Finds Trauma Leading Cause of Death to Age 46, Up from Age 44

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

Peter Rhee articleIn new research published in the Annals of Surgery, trauma surgeon Peter Rhee and colleagues find that traumatic injury leads as the cause of death for all Americans from birth to age 46, up from age 44 according to previous research.

Trauma deaths increased by 22.8% from 2000 to 2010, while the US population increased by only 9.7%, the researchers found. While the trauma death rate among most age groups remained relatively stable during the period, that among older Americans changed significantly. Despite a slight decrease in the baby boomer population during that decade, their trauma death rate increased by 17.8%.

“Older individuals are being disproportionately affected by trauma,” note the researchers. “The changing epidemiology of trauma mortality must be a focus of robust future investigations to make strides in preventing and treating trauma, the greatest increasing killer in our era.”

Read the article

Vehicle Crashes Alone Account for Nearly Three-Fourths of the Economic Burden of Trauma

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014

A recent Associated Press article reports on the results of a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) study that found “the economic and societal harm from motor vehicles crashes amounted to a whopping $871 billion in a single year.”

Of that nearly $9 billion, $277 billion was attributed to the economic costs of lost productivity, property damage, cost of treatment, legal fees, emergency services and costs to employers. According to the National Trauma Institute, the total economic cost of all traumatic injury is just over $400 billion, making vehicle crashes the single highest contributor to economic harm.

The NHTSA points to the report’s findings as evidence of the importance of its efforts to improve auto safety and reduce the number of accidents related to drunk and distracted driving and seat-belt non-use. To be sure, all measures should be employed to prevent crashes in the first place. And once an accident does occur, NTI is working to improve traumatic injury treatments that reduce societal and economic impact further.

Trauma Costs the United States Billions of Dollars Each Year

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

Trauma is the second most expensive public health problem facing the United States. AHRQ data on the ten most expensive health conditions puts the annual medical costs from trauma at $72 billion, second only to heart conditions at $76 billion, and ahead of cancer, mental disorders, asthma and COPD, and diabetes. The National Safety Council estimates the true economic burden to be more than $690 billion per year, since trauma has an ongoing cost to society due to disability, and is the leading cause of years of productive life lost.

Trauma is a Huge and Largely Unrecognized Public Health Problem

Friday, November 9th, 2012

In 1966, a seminal report by the National Research Council declared that both the public and government were “insensitive to the magnitude of the problem of accidental death and injury” in the U.S. That is still true today, almost 50 years later. According to CDC statistics, trauma is responsible for over 47% of the deaths of Americans between the ages of 1 and 44 each year. That’s more than all forms of cancer, heart disease, HIV, liver disease, stroke and diabetes combined. Every three minutes an American dies  due to trauma. That’s 170,000 deaths in addition to 42 million injuries every year.