Study Indicates 20 Percent of Trauma Deaths Preventable Through Improved Services

Outside a hospital

A new study by The National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine finds that one in five trauma deaths could have been prevented if the people had got treatment from a trauma center sooner. The same report states that trauma is the leading cause of death in the United States for people 45 or younger. In 2014, 147,790 people died from traumatic injuries. The estimated medical costs to treat all traumatic injuries for that same year was $670 billion. The study states about 30,000 deaths could have been prevented if every hospital had proper trauma care capabilities.

Trauma care in Lake County

Currently, Lake County has just one Level 1 trauma care facility. It is as much as 30 minutes away from some areas. According to the Chicago Tribune, The National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine created a committee to find ways trauma care can be improved for all areas of the country. The committee recommended a national system that uses methods similar to battlefield procedures to prevent deaths. The Level 1 trauma center in Cook County is Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville. There are three other trauma centers in the county: Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital in Lake Forest, Vista Medical Center East in Waukegan, and NorthShore Highland Park Hospital in Highland Park. These three medical facilities are Level 2 centers. A Level 1 center has sub-specialty surgeons at the location 24/7. Level 2 trauma care centers have their specialist on-call. They may be up to one hour away when they get notified of a traumatic injury patient needing their services. There are 18 Level 1 trauma centers in Illinois. A Lake County auto accident lawyer can advise families who have lost a loved one if they feel the death was due to medical malpractice.

Improvements can be made without adding trauma centers

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine is calling for the White House to create a national trauma-care system that would utilize the extensive knowledge and advancements the U.S. has gained from treating traumatic battlefield injuries. The White House campaign “Stop the Bleed” aims to empower individuals to act quickly in emergencies to save lives. Regardless of how many trauma centers and medical personnel are located in an area, bystanders are always first at the scene of traumatic injuries. The study encourages more collaboration between military and civilian sectors on how to help save lives.