Traumatic injury is a leading cause of death globally, and the leading cause of death in the first half of life (age 1-45). Studies have proven that with properly organized trauma care systems, many of these lives can be saved. Unfortunately, resources are limited in many countries, resulting in millions of preventable deaths due to traumatic injury every year.
The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) performed a review of 16 years’ worth of data and across 32 countries, classified as high-income (HI), middle income (MI), and low income (LI) countries. The results were not all that surprising:
- Trauma-related mortality was lowest in HI countries and highest in LI countries.
- 18 HI countries reported having Level III & IV hospital-based trauma systems, while just nine MI and LI countries reported having Level I & II hospital-based trauma systems (which generally lack a dedicated trauma center and team).
- Advanced life support was established in 19 HI countries; in MI and LI countries, these systems were only reported to exist in Brazil, China, and Turkey.
Global Emergency and Trauma Care Initiative
“As human beings, our health and the health of those we care about is a matter of daily concern. Regardless of our age, gender, socio-economic or ethnic background, we consider our health to be our most basic and essential asset.”
- The Right to Health, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the World Health Organization (WHO)
WHO has been advocating for proper healthcare across the globe since 1948. Since its founding, the organization notes that every country has ratified at least one international human rights treaty recognizing the right to health, and have committed themselves to protecting this right through international declarations, domestic legislation and policies, and at international conferences.
Despite all this, proper treatment for trauma has been lacking. WHO notes that acutely ill and injured people die every day due to a lack of timely emergency care, and that many countries have no emergency access telephone number to call for an ambulance or no trained ambulance staff. In addition, many hospitals lack dedicated emergency units and have few providers trained to recognize or treat emergency conditions.
To help save some of the millions of lives lost every year to traumatic injury and its complications, WHO developed the Global Emergency and Trauma Care Initiative in December of 2018. The goals are straightforward: to increase quality emergency care capacities around the world, and to grow awareness through a global advocacy campaign.
Phases of the Global Emergency and Trauma Care Initiative
It’s well-known that timely emergency care saves lives, but WHO further reveals that if fatality rates from severe injury were the same in LI and MI countries as in HI countries, nearly 2 million lives could be saved every year. To that end, the initial phase of the initiative has WHO and partners supporting 10 LI and MI countries to assess their national emergency care systems, identify any shortcomings and implement proven interventions to address these gaps.
Activities at the national level include:
- Developing national plans and key policies, such as laws addressing the role of bystanders and access to care without regard to ability to pay
- Implementing WHO standards addressing the way emergency care systems are organized and resourced
- Facilitating low-cost improvements in the way that emergency care is delivered (e.g., implementing triage and WHO checklists that ensure a systematic approach to the care of every patient)
- Training frontline providers on basic emergency care through a series of WHO courses
“No one should die for the lack of access to emergency care, an essential part of universal health coverage,” says WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “We have simple, affordable and proven interventions that save lives. This initiative will ensure that millions of people around the world have access to the timely, life-saving care they deserve.”
Saving Time and Saving Lives
Every second counts when treating a traumatic injury, and that controlling blood loss is key to increasing survival rates. But in emergency situations, where a skilled surgeon may not be on hand immediately to close a wound, time is wasted. Today, there’s a quicker, safer wound closure option that doesn’t require sutures or staples: BandGrip. Designed for speed and ease of use, BandGrip is a 3.5”x1.5” bandage offering a non-invasive method of wound closure (it can also be tiled for large incisions). It uses non-invasive micro-anchors that grip the skin gently and securely to pull wound edges together, reducing wound closure time by more than 30%. BandGrip can be applied by anyone when time is in short supply, turning anyone into a first responder!
BandGrip is poised to make an enormous impact in emergency situations in the United States and abroad, it also has the potential to save the healthcare industry billions per year in ER care and surgeries (money which can go toward funding other life-saving initiatives). For more information about how BandGrip can revolutionize the way medical professionals address wound closure, contact us today.