This blog post is part of the Google+ Healthy Hangouts series of breaking and timely health news.
Each year, traumatic injuries (e.g., falls, motor vehicle collisions) account for over 41 million emergency department visits and 2.3 million hospital admissions across the country. Traumatic injuries often happen when you least expect it, and often times they can be prevented.
Lauren Silverman, news reporter and blogger for KERA, recently hosted a panel of medical experts on the medical staff at Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas, including Dr. Michael Foreman, the trauma medical director of the Level I Trauma Center; Ann Marie Warren, PhD, trauma psychologist; and Karen Minor, a registered nurse in the emergency department. The panel discussed how to avoid serious injuries and what steps to take if they do occur.
Traumatic injuries affect people of all ages. In Texas, the majority of traumatic injuries occur among young people between the ages of 25 and 34, and seniors between the ages of 75 and 84. About three percent of these injuries are deadly.
The most common cause of injury admitted into the trauma center is the result of a fall.
However, falls are not something that happen only to the elderly. According to Dr. Foreman “gravity doesn’t care how old someone is.”
Other types of traumatic injury that commonly present in the emergency department include motor vehicle collisions, motorcycle collisions, and violence-related injuries.
In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more Americans die from traumatic injuries than from any other cause, including cancer, HIV, and heart disease…combined.
The after effects of injury can be extensive and may include physical, emotional, and financial consequences that impact the lives of the patient, their friends and family, and society in general. Sometimes, traumatic injury has psychological effects on the patient.
According to Dr. Warren, “everyone experiences traumatic injury differently” and “the severity of the injury does not necessarily predict psychological outcome.”
Injuries are not accidents. They can be prevented.
In addition to caring for the injured patient, the Level I trauma center at Baylor Dallas focuses on injury prevention by establishing and maintaining a presence in the Dallas community, including on Facebook. In the TraumaSTAT group on Facebook, you can find resources, medical news, and health information.
You can see more of the panel’s conversation by watching the Google+ Hangout below: