Geographic Information Systems in Trauma Research
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Geographic information system (GIS) refers to spatial analysis. It has been used in medicine and public health for more than 2000 years, but recent advances in mapping software have allowed for significant advances in the field. It is being used to study traumatic injuries to help identify high-risk areas and posit potential solutions to local injury clusters. Examples of its use in trauma research include pedestrian injuries and local traffic patterns; sociodemographic characteristics of regions with high incidence of certain kinds of injuries, such as burns; and trauma systems development. This chapter provides an overview of GIS in trauma research—with particular attention to its application to the study of mortality from gunshot wounds in Chicago—and also highlights trauma systems evolution; characteristics of the built environment and their interplay with sociodemographics; and research-informed solutions. Finally, the chapter explores ethical considerations in the use of GIS data for clinical and public health research.
KeywordsPublic health Trauma Gun violence Firearm injuries Geographic information systems Prehospital transport Acute care surgery Emergency medicine Clinical research Trauma systems
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