What would you guess is the leading cause of death in the first four decades of an average American’s lifespan? Many people suspect cancer or heart disease, but neither of these are the leading cause of death for people age 1 – 44.
According to the National Safety Council, more Americans die in the first half of life from trauma, including unintentional injuries and violence. Trauma includes injury or death from crashes involving a car, motorcycle, ATV, or bicycle, plus gunshot wounds, stabbings, drownings, poisonings, and falls.
The National Safety Council research reveals that:
- Motor vehicle crashes and drownings rank as the top two causes of unintentional death for people ages 1 – 44.
- Men ages 35 – 44 are almost three times more likely to die in a motor vehicle crash than women.
- 97% to 99% of injuries are caused by our own errors.
- Drowning is the leading cause of death for children ages 1 – 4 and is the second leading cause of death for children ages 5 – 14.
- Prescription drug overdose is the leading cause of poisoning deaths.
In Evansville alone, there were 21 fatalities from road traffic accidents in 2017. Based on data gathered between 1996 and 2017, the highest number of accidents in Evansville have occurred during the months of June, July, and August. Perhaps not surprising, Saturday and Sunday evenings and Monday mornings have been the peak time for accidents in Evansville during that 11 year span.
On a national scale, not only is trauma the leading cause of death for people ages 1 – 44, it’s also the #1 cause of loss of productivity and loss of lifestyle for that same age group. The surgeons at Evansville Surgical Associates are helping to lower the death rate from trauma in the Tri-State region, as well as reduce the loss of productivity and lifestyle, by being specifically trained for trauma care and by having four surgeons always available 24-hours a day.
There are a number of factors that impact the probability of survival in trauma injuries, including the type and extent of body injuries, the specific body regions affected by the injuries, pre-existing medical conditions, overall general health, age, and gender. Two factors that also greatly affect trauma survival rates are quick access to care and the level of trauma care experience the caregivers are able to provide.
Evansville Surgical Associates is the only general surgery practice in the region with surgeons certified in Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) by the American College of Surgeons. They direct and staff the two certified American College of Surgeons Level II Trauma Centers at St. Vincent-Evansville Hospital and Deaconess Midtown Hospital, providing care for more than 3,000 trauma patients each year.
Caring for a trauma patient extends well beyond initial treatment in an emergency room. Trauma patients require a coordination of multiple specialties both in and out of the hospital, including EMS providers, emergency room staff, hospital-based care, and post discharge care that might involve rehabilitation and long-term care.
In order for a Trauma Center to function most effectively, all involved care teams need to be led by experienced surgeons who are specially trained to evaluate and provide the key components of trauma care. Evansville Surgical Associates doctors fill those critical roles by also serving on the administrative staff of the two Trauma Centers. Dr. W. Matthew Vassy is Director of Adult Trauma at Deaconess Midtown, Dr. Kevin McConnell is Director of Adult Trauma at St. Vincent-Evansville, and Dr. Angela Martin is Director of Pediatric Trauma at St. Vincent-Evansville.
Having an established and verified Trauma Center at Deaconess Midtown and St. Vincent-Evansville hospitals helps to not only lower the death rate from injury, but also lessen the complications associated with trauma, such as the costs for the patient for medical care and for loss of income and productivity.
Deaconess Midtown and St. Vincent-Evansville hospitals trust Evansville Surgical Associates to provide life-saving surgical support in their trauma and emergency departments 24-hours a day, 7 days a week. Our Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS)-certified surgeons are specially trained to handle critical, life-threatening injuries and illnesses, wherever and whenever they happen.
Established in 1969, Evansville Surgical Associates celebrates 50 years of providing leading-edge comprehensive and compassionate surgical care. Learn more about our physicians and our practices by visiting our website, or by calling us at 812.424.8231 or 800.264.8231.