When Every Second Counts…


Trauma is the US's most important, expensive, and tragic health problem, costing more years of life than cancer, heart disease, or AIDS, and the country's 4th leading cause of death.  It is the #1 killer of residents under 37, accounting for 100,000 deaths per year, temporarily disables 11 million others, and permanently disables 470,000. The effectiveness of trauma care depends upon early notification, prompt dispatch, skilled extrication and field resuscitation, clear communication, and orderly transport to the appropriate medical facility.


What is Trauma?

An injury caused by physical force, most often the consequence of motor vehicle crashes, falls, drownings, gun shots, fires and burns, stabbings, or blunt assault.


Factors that can influence the outcome of a trauma injury

  1. Severity of the injury
  2. The age of the patient
  3. Pre-existing medical conditions
  4. Time


Did you know?

Many victims of trauma die from interrupted breathing or loss of blood, not from the severity of their injuries.


Seconds Save Lives in Medical Emergencies

Prevent emergencies.  Regular exercise and medical check-ups will help protect your health and identify whether you're at risk for life-threatening conditions.  Follow your doctor's advice to reduce any risk factors dangerous to your health.

Prepare for emergencies.  After doing everything you can to prevent emergencies, the next step is to prepare for one.  Some basic steps are:

Learn to recognize life-threatening emergencies.  Not every cut needs stitches, nor does every burn require advanced medical treatment.  If you think someone could suffer significant harm or die unless prompt care is received, that situation is an emergency, and call 9-1-1 or the local hospital for help.  Get help fast when the following warning signs are seen:

Know when you should call for emergency dispatch - ask yourself the following questions:

If the answer to any one of these questions is yes, or you are simply unsure, call your emergency number immediately.

Decide to Act.  Be ready, willing, and able to help someone until emergency services arrive.  Action can mean anything from calling paramedics, applying direct pressure on a wound, performing CPR, or splinting an injury.  Never perform a medical procedure if you're unsure about how to do it.


Reducing the odds - tips for saving time and saving lives



Time is of the essence when dealing with trauma injury.  The first 60 minutes after trauma are crucial in improving chances of survival.  Vital prehospital care followed by treatment at an appropriate medical center is often the difference between life and death or short-term hospital care and lifetime disability.


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Material taken from the American College of Emergency Physicians.