The Development of the Trauma System: Epidemiological Data

  • G. Berlot
  • M. Viviani
  • M. Soiat


In the developed countries, trauma is the main cause of death in people younger than 30 years (1). In Italy alone, more than 8000 people die every year within the first year following a car crash. Many classical retrospective studies demonstrated that the mortahty of trauma patients has a trimodal distribution (1): roughly 50% of them die in the first hour after the initial event, due to injuries incompatible with life: thus, it appears that an improved survival of this group of patients is more based on the adoption of preventive measures including speed limits, airbags, helmets etc. than to medical intervention. Another 30% of patients die within few hours after the trauma, due to factors which are, at least partially, preventable, including delays in the rescue, in the triage and in the transportation to referral centers, missed or underevaluated lesions etc. It is likely that the outcome of many of them could be improved by a more comprehensive resuscitative strategy, as well by the improvement of either out-of-hospital and in-hospital management. The remaining deaths are due to delayed and indirect complications of the initial event, generally associated with the development of sepsis and multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (MODS). It is conceivable that in these patients, too, an early and aggressive treatment could reduce the mortality, because the factors responsible for sepsis and its associated cardiorespiratory and metabolic derangements are probably present from the very early posttraumatic phase (see later).


Trauma Patient Multiple Organ Dysfunction Syndrome Trauma System Emergency Medical Helicopter Service Gastric Tonometry 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia, Milano 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Berlot
  • M. Viviani
  • M. Soiat

There are no affiliations available

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