We never really know when our time will come, but for Americans between the ages of 1 and 45, statistics show that injuries are most likely to be the cause of death, regardless of race or economic status. In fact, the most recent studies reveal that injuries take the lives of more than 200,000 individuals within that age range each year—that’s about one person every three minutes.
first half of life injuries
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), injuries—including every cause of unintentional and violence-related injuries—account for nearly 60% of all deaths among those aged 1-44. In this first half of life, motor vehicle crashes, drug overdoses, falls, homicides, and other incidents claim more lives than infectious and non-communicable diseases combined. Not even cancer, HIV, or the flu have taken their toll on this age bracket as much as injuries have.
The CDC is actively trying to reduce the number of injury-related deaths through awareness, and by using cutting-edge data systems to track injuries and deaths to better understand the nature and scope of the problem. With more data, they’ll be better equipped to inform the public about potential hazards and in the process, reduce death from injury. Of course, it’s not just about preventing death; the CDC also hopes to reduce hospital or emergency room visits through injury awareness. That’s because non-fatal injury is also taking a toll. Each year, 2.5 million people are hospitalized for an injury, and 25 million will be treated in an emergency room. All of this puts a strain on emergency room surgeons, whose time is already in short supply. And when it comes to an emergency, time is of the essence.
Minding The Golden Hour
In medicine, there is what is known as a “golden hour.” The golden hour is the window of time following a traumatic injury in which prompt medical and surgical treatment is likely to prevent death. During this period, controlling blood loss and stabilizing patients is key to increasing survival rates. But in emergency situations, where a surgeon may not be on hand immediately to close a wound, this timeframe is compromised. Even when they do arrive at the scene, there may be challenges.
Some of the challenges involve wound closure. Technological advancements abound in the medical field, but sutures—the current wound closure standard—remain mostly unchanged since 30,000 BCE. Not only does suturing require making additional lacerations around incisions, but it also introduces foreign material into the body. Stapling is a faster method of wound closure used by emergency physicians, but it poses an increased risk of infection and often leads to substantial scarring. It’s also not recommended for injuries to the face or neck, and can cause discomfort when used in the hands or the feet.
An Alternative to Sutures and Staples
Today, emergency surgeons have another option: BandGrip. An alternative to staples and stitches 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%. In addition, scarring is less pronounced, leaving patients more satisfied with the results of their procedure. It’s also a time-saver; the bandage can be applied by anyone when time is in short supply.
For more information about how BandGrip can revolutionize the way medical professionals address wound closure, contact us today.