What are the most common causes of trauma?

Emergency care and trauma care are similar, but they aren’t the same. Patients can go to the ER for anything ranging from a respiratory infection to a heart attack. In contrast, patients are brought to Trauma Centers for suddenly acquired, life-threatening injuries that require immediate medical intervention. Trauma Centers, such as the Level II Trauma Center at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center, treat the most critically injured patients. There are many possible causes of severe physical trauma. When you watch the accompanying video, you’ll hear a surgeon discuss some of the most common causes.

Falls
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , older adults in the U.S. suffer falls at a rate that is equivalent to one fall for every second of each day.

Some falls are relatively minor, causing little more than a stubbed toe or sprained ankle. These injuries don’t require specialized trauma care, although an emergency care physician should do a medical evaluation. Other falls are life-threatening, causing severe injuries like brain injuries and spinal cord trauma.

It isn’t just seniors who are at risk of traumatic injuries from falls. Children and people of all ages can sustain life-threatening trauma from a fall, either from a normal elevation or from height.

Motor vehicle crashes
Major motor vehicle crashes, including big rig, motorcycle and pedestrian accidents, can inflict a wide range of traumatic injuries. These may include:

  • Traumatic amputations
  • Brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Organ damage
  • Internal bleeding
  • Crush injuries
  • Burn injuries

Acts of violence
Unfortunately, some of the life-threatening injuries that trauma specialists treat are intentionally inflicted. Acts of violence, including gunshot wounds and stabbings, require immediate medical help. Depending on the situation, these patients can have penetrating head injuries, in which a bullet or blade enters the head.

Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center is a Level II Trauma Center. Our multidisciplinary Trauma Team is available 24/7 to respond immediately to patients with life-threatening injuries. Calls for emergency care should be directed to a 911 dispatcher, but if you have a general healthcare question, you can call (702) 233-5300 and speak with a nurse at our hospital in Las Vegas.

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