Taking Car Crash Victims directly to Trauma Center may save Their Lives

Statistics reveal that less than 50% of the victims of a car crash are taken directly to a trauma center, thereby wasting crucial time. Less than 50% of the patients taken to a nearby hospital following a car crash are later referred to a trauma center. This is because the EMS personnel often fail to assess the severity of injuries. Moreover, in many cases lack of proper means of transportation or the sheer distance of a trauma center from the point of accident, works to the victim’s disadvantage. However, a new study published in the latest issue of the Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery has found that patients of a car crash who are directly taken to a trauma center are 30 times more likely to survive beyond 48 hours following the accident.

The research was carried out under the leadership of Dr. Avery Nathens, the trauma director at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto. The researchers analyzed the data of 6,341 victims of car crash in Ontario who met with the accident between the periods of 2002 and 2010. It was found that while 45% of these victims were directly taken to a trauma center, the remaining persons were shifted to a non-trauma center. Of the latter, only 57% were referred to a trauma center within 24 hours as soon as their condition was stabilized. The researchers observed that there was at least a 30% increase in mortality in the first 48 hours following the accident in case the patients were shifted to a non-trauma center first.

Trauma centers have specialized staff round the clock to provide immediate treatment for critically injured patients. They also have special diagnostic equipment for proper assessment of injuries. Moreover, many of these enters are well equipped to carry out specialized orthopedic and neuro- surgeries. The researchers have opined that EMS personnel should be trained to assess the severity of injuries in crash victims. Further, adequate resources should be provided so that proper transportation facilities can be arranged at the earliest as every minute is crucial in such a scenario.

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Date: 
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
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