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Trauma Surgery Statistics You Should Know

National Trauma Awareness Month may be over, but it’s important to never forget the epidemic of trauma injuries we face in the United States and to continue considering the ways in which we can help prevent traumatic injury and death. After all, statistics show that traumatic injury due to motor vehicle crashes, drug overdoses, falls, homicides, and other incidents is the leading cause of death for Americans in their first half of life (ages 1-45). In fact, traumatic injury accounts for nearly 60% of all deaths regardless of race or economic status in this demographic. Of course, that’s not the only eye-opening number out there. Here are some other statistics to be aware of.

the total lifetime cost of healthcare and loss of productivity due to traumatic injury in the U.S. is more than $670 billion.

Trauma costs during this first half of life cost the United States more than cancer ($216 billion), diabetes ($245 billion), and heart disease ($313 billion).

  • Nearly $130 billion of the fatal injury costs are attributable to unintentional injuries, followed by suicide ($50.8 billion) and homicide ($26.4 billion).
  • Falls (37%) and transportation-related injuries (21%) accounted for the majority of trauma surgery costs.
  • Drug poisonings, including prescription drug overdoses, accounted for more than 25% of fatal injury costs.
  • Males account for the majority of fatal injury costs (78%; $166.7 billion) and nonfatal injury costs (63%; $287.5 billion).

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) accounts for many trauma deaths, with costs estimated to be between $48-56 billion each year.

Deaths from TBI account for 34% of all traumatic deaths. Starting at age 30, the death rate from head injury begins to increase, with people over the age of 60 suffering the highest mortality rate from TBI due to falls, which are becoming more commonplace among this age group.

  • There are approximately 235,000 hospitalizations for TBI every year, more than 20 times the number of hospitalizations for spinal cord injury.
  • Among children ages 14 and younger, TBI accounts for an estimated 2,685 deaths, 37,000 hospitalizations and 435,000 emergency room visits.
  • Every year, 80,000-90,000 people suffer long-term or lifelong disabilities due to TBI.
  • Statistics estimate between 50-70% of TBI accidents are due to vehicular and motorcycle crashes.
  • Sports and recreational activities account for more than 20% of TBIs among American children and adolescents.
  • The mortality rate for TBI is 30 per 100,000 people (approximately 50,000 Americans each year).
  • 50% of individuals who die from TBI do so within the first two hours following their injury.
  • Males account for the majority of TBI injuries (78.8%) versus females (21.2%).

Each year, about 60,000 Americans die from hemorrhaging, or blood loss.

This figure jumps to almost 2 million when factoring in hemorrhaging cases globally. In addition, it’s estimated that as many as 1.5 million of these hemorrhaging deaths are caused by physical trauma.

  • Although traumatic injury is often associated with visible wounds, you can bleed to death (exsanguination) without ever seeing a drop of blood.
  • More than 50% of people with traumatic injuries involving hemorrhaging die within minutes of the accident or injury.
  • Approximately 30% of deaths from hemorrhaging occur within the first 24 hours of injury.
  • While less common, about 9% of patients survive the initial blood loss but die weeks later due to complications.

To reduce the risk of death due to traumatic injury, the National Institutes of Health (NIH)—a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the nation’s medical research agency—continues to make important discoveries that improve health and save lives. In addition, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) is actively trying to reduce the number of injury-related deaths through awareness and the use of cutting-edge data systems to track injuries and deaths to better understand the nature and scope of the problem. With more data, the CDC expects to be better equipped to inform the public about potential hazards and, in the process, reduce death from injury.

BandGrip is also doing its part to save lives by saving time during surgery. BandGrip is a non-invasive 3.5”x1.5” Micro-Anchor Skin Closure bandage that is designed for speed and ease of use (it can also be tiled for large incisions or lacerations). In emergency situations, it can be applied quickly to stop blood loss to help ensure patients are stabilized during the all-important golden hour. It’s also ideal for situations involving high-volumes of traumatic injury, such as a natural disaster, terrorist attack, military combat zones, or a multi-car accident scene. To learn more about BandGrip and other wound closure methods, download our latest free eBook, Stop the Bleeding: Wound Closure Techniques for Trauma Surgeons.

Stop the Bleeding: Wound Closure Techniques for Trauma Surgeons