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  • Print publication year: 2008
  • Online publication date: January 2010

1 - Mechanisms and Demographics in Trauma

    • By Pedro Barbieri, Department of Anesthesia, Hospital Britanico de Buenos Aires, University of El Salvador School of Medicine, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Daniel H. Gomez, Department of Anesthesia, Hospital Universitario Austral, Pilar, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Peter F. Mahoney, Military Critical Care, Royal Centre for Defence Medicine, Birmingham, United Kingdom, Pablo Pratesi, Department of Emergency Medicine, Austral University Hospital, Pilar, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Christopher M. Grande, Department of Anesthesiology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pennsylvania, and International TraumaCare (ITACCS), Baltimore, Maryland
  • Edited by Charles E. Smith, Case Western Reserve University, Ohio
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511547447.004
  • pp 1-8

Summary

Objectives

The aim of this chapter is to put trauma in context as a major health issue and give practitioners an understanding of the underlying causes and mechanisms.

INTRODUCTION

Injury is the leading cause of death in people aged between 1 and 44 years in the United States and a leading cause of death worldwide [1]. It can be defined as a “physical harm or damage to the structure or function of the body, caused by an acute exchange of energy (mechanical, chemical, thermal, radioactive, or biological) that exceeds the body's tolerance” [2, 3].

In 2002, 33 million patients were processed by emergency departments in the United States, and 161,269 died by traumatic injury [4]. Trauma is the leading cause of years of potential life lost for people younger than 75 years and this implies a huge expense to the health care system and massive amounts of resources used for care and rehabilitation [5].

Demographics is the statistical study of human populations, especially with reference to size and density, distribution, and vital statistics. Data on the demographics of trauma in the United States have been obtained from a number of sources listed in the references to this chapter.

ALCOHOL

In a recent report from the Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) Uniform Crime Reporting Program, the FBI estimated that more than 1.4 million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics, and an estimated 254,000 persons were injured in crashes where police reported that alcohol was present – an average of one person injured approximately every two minutes.

REFERENCES
World Health Organization. (http://www.who.int/en).
National Safety Council. Accidents facts. Chicago 1990. The Council, Itasca, IL. (http://www.nsc.org/lrs/statinfo/odds.htm).
Fingerhut, , Warner, M. Injury Chartbook. Heart, United States, 1996–97. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics, 1998. National Health Interview Survey (http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nhis.htm).
Minino, AM, Anderson, RN, Fingerhut, , Boudreault, MA, Warner M: Death: Injuries, 2002. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). National Vital Statistics Report, National Center for Health Statistics, CDC, Atlanta, GA, Volume 54, Number 10, 2006 (http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss.htm).
Finkelstein, EA, Corso, PS, Miller, TR, Associates. Incidence and Economic Burden of Injuries in the United States. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.
American College of Surgeons (ACS). National Trauma Data Bank Report 2005, ed. Fildes J, chair. (http://www.ntdb.org) (last update: November 12, 2006).
NHTSA's National Center for Statistics and Analysis (NCSA). http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/people/ncsa (last update: November 12, 2006)
Olding-Smee, W, Crockard, A.The trauma problem. In Olding-Smee, W, Crockard, A, ed. Trauma Care. London: Academic Press, 1981, pp 3–18.
Butler, RM, Moster, FH. The padded dash syndrome and blunt trauma to the larynx and trachea. Laryngoscope 1968; 78: 1172–82.
McSwain NE. Mechanism of injuries in blunt trauma. In McSwain, NE, Kerstein, MD, ed. Evaluation and Management of Trauma. Norwalk, CT: Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1987, pp 1–24.
Parr MJA, Grande CM. Mechanisms of trauma. In: Grande, CM, ed. Textbook of Trauma Anesthesia. St. Louis: Mosby, 1994, Chapter 36, pp 325–41.
Langlois, JA, Rutland-Brown, W, Thomas, KE. Traumatic brain injury in the United States: emergency department visits, hospitalizations, and deaths. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, 2004.
Thurman, D, Alverson, C, Dunn, K, Guerrero, J, Sniezek, J. Traumatic brain injury in the United States: a public health perspective. J Head Trauma Rehabil 1999; 14(6): 602–15.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS) [Online]. 2005. National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (producer). Available from: www.cdc.gov/ncipc/wisqars. (cited August 21, 2006).
Hall, JR. Burns, Toxic Gases, and Other Hazards Associated with Fires: Deaths and Injuries in Fire and Non-Fire Situations. Quincy, MA: National Fire Protection Association, Fire Analysis and Research Division, 2001.
Ahrens, M.The U.S. Fire Problem Overview Report: Leading Causes and Other Patterns and Trends. Quincy, MA: National Fire Protection Association, 2003.
Ahrens, M.U.S. Experience with Smoke Alarms and Other Fire Alarms. Quincy, MA: National Fire Protection Association, 2004.
Karter, MJ. Fire Loss in the United States during 2005, Abridged Report. Quincy, MA: National Fire Protection Association, Fire Analysis and Research Division, 2006.
McCaig, LF, Nawar, EW. National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey: 2004 Emergency Department Summary, Table 13. National Health Care Survey. Advance Data from Vital and Health Statistics. Number 372. June 23, 2006. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nhcs.htm.
OTHER SOURCES USED
Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). (Demography in USA. 2005. (http://www.paho.org/eng) (last update: November 12, 2006).
Maryland Family Health Administration (http://www.fha.state.md.us).
Burn Foundation. A survey of 28 burn centers contributing data to the American Burn Association burn patient registry (1991–93); data from the National Burn Information Exchange (1965–85.) (http://www.burnfoundation.org/).