A Look at the Latest Accident and Trauma Statistics
February 16, 2017 / Personal Injury
The annual report for 2016 from the National Trauma Data Bank (NTDB) is now published. The latest report updates the biggest compilation ever assembled of U.S. and Canadian registry data for trauma, containing over 7 million records.
The report is generated by the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Committee on Trauma (COT), whose primary missions are to:
- Improve prevention of injuries
- Improve care for injured patients
- Develop and implement significant trauma care programs.
Acting as the principal repository for national trauma registry data, their intent is to inform medical personnel, policy decision makers, and the public about the many issues involved in caring for the injured. Medical areas impacted by this report include injury control, acute care, education, research, and the allocation of resources.
Here, then, is a snapshot of some of their findings.
Most at risk, generally, are the young and the old:
- The peak ages for injuries are the teen and young adult years: 14 to 29. These injuries are mostly from motor vehicle-related accidents. After that, injuries decline until between years 40 and 50, which is when injuries from falls start to increase.
- Injuries related to falls largely involve the young and the old. Such injuries sharply increase between the ages of 5 and 9 before decreasing, and then increase again over the age of 65.
- In those injured up to age 70, males make up 70 percent of people involved. After the age of 71, most injured patients are female.
Top Five Injury Causes (Plus a Sixth)
The top five injury producers, generally, are falls and motor vehicles:
- Falls account for over 44 percent of all injuries. Fatal falls involve about 1 in 23 persons—4.37 percent died.
- Motor vehicle traffic accidents. Vehicular accidents account for nearly 26 percent of all injuries, with a fatality rate of 4.62 percent. Between the ages of 16 and 26, there is a dramatic rise in traffic accidents, which peak at about age 21.
- Struck by or against an object. Such injuries happen to 6.47 percent of those hurt. Fatalities involved 1.36 percent of those affected.
- Other types of transport. About 4.56 percent of those injured fell into this category. Fatalities involved 2.30 percent of those affected.
- Cutting or piercing accidents. Around 4.13 percent of those injured had such wounds. Fatalities involved 2.18 percent of those affected.
It’s worth noting the category that shows up at sixth on the list: firearm injuries. About 4.21 percent of all persons injured fell into this category, but fatalities sharply increased, encompassing a full 15.3 percent of those injured. That means, if you are injured by a firearm, you have a roughly 1 in 6.5 chance of dying, statistically speaking.
Firearm injuries have the highest fatality rates in every age group included in this report. But the youth aspect of firearm injuries is especially troubling: At the age of 12, firearm injuries double, then increase relentlessly until the age of 22, after which they begin to decrease. Please, if your children shoot, make sure they are well-versed in all safety and operational aspects of the proper use of firearms.
The Largest Rates of Fatalities
In general, suffocation, drowning or submersion, and firearms have the highest death rates among the types of injuries listed in the report:
- Suffocation: 27.12 percent of all injured died.
- Drowning/submersion: 19.20 percent of all injured died.
- Firearms: 15.3 percent of all injured died.
The overall mortality rate for all accidents in the report is 4.39 percent, or slightly less than 1 in 23 injured persons.
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