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Study Reveals One in Five Trauma Deaths Are Preventable

According to an article in the Chicago Tribune, the results of a new study suggest that the lives of 20 percent of trauma victims could have been saved had the victims received more timely care. The study was published by The National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine shortly after the Orlando shooting that resulted in mass casualties.

Preventing 30,000 Deaths in 2014

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The study concluded that upwards of 30,000 deaths that occurred in the year 2014 could have been prevented had trauma victims been transported to trauma centers quicker, concluding that more local trauma centers are needed, despite the large expense that the construction of such centers would require. The report further found that trauma is the leading cause of death for Americans 45 years of age and younger. In fact, trauma-related accident cost the U.S. economy approximately $670 billion in medical expenses in 2014, and killed hundreds of thousands of people. In 2014, 147,790 people lost their lives to trauma. Part of the problem is that too many areas do not have quick access to necessary care centers where professionals can prevent deaths.

An article in the PhillyVoice states that hospitals that do not have the ability to treat trauma patients in need of critical care must transport these patients to other facilities. Trauma patients that require a transfer are 25 percent more likely to die than are those who are taken immediately to a trauma center.

The Costs of Trauma Centers

Trauma centers in hospitals are not as common as one would like to think; for example, in all of Illinois, there are only 18 level I trauma centers in total. Further, only about one in four rural residents in the U.S. live within an hour – by land or air – of a trauma center. In some areas, about one-third of seriously injured patients are not transported to a level I or level II trauma center. The reason behind the centers’ rarity is directly tied to their cost – the Chicago Tribune article cited data from the Illinois Department of Health, which states that level I and level II trauma centers cost more than $20 million to support.

Contact Experienced Negligence Attorneys in Philadelphia

The fact that 20 percent of people may be unnecessarily dying due to gunshot wounds, car crashes, and other severe injuries is both shocking and terrible. When a patient is critically injured, the time that it takes to get them adequate medical care can have a major effect on their outcome; seconds really do matter. Ambulances driving faster can only do so much; the real answer lies in the construction and funding of more trauma centers throughout the nation.

If your loved one has died because they did not receive the timely care that they so desperately needed, our heart goes out to you and your family. At the law firm of Cohen, Placitella & Roth, P.C., our passionate Philadelphia negligence attorneys will review your case for free to determine whether or not you may have a cause of action to recover compensation. Call us today to get started.

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