Trauma refers to any injury caused by a physical force. In most cases, trauma is the result of motor vehicle crashes, falls, drowning, gunshots, fires and burns, stabbing or blunt assault.
According to the American Trauma Society, trauma kills more people between the ages of 1 and 44 than any other disease or illness. Approximately 100,000 people of all ages die from trauma each year in the United States, roughly half of them in automobile crashes.
Children and young adults feel the greatest impact of trauma. According to the National Center for Heath Statistics, trauma (unintentional injuries and homicides) causes:
- 43% of all deaths from age 1 to 4
- 48% of all deaths in ages 5 to 14
- 62% of all deaths in ages 15 to 24
Trauma strikes at any time of the day. Each year, eight to nine million individuals suffer disabling injuries in the United States, with more than 300,000 of them suffering permanent disabilities.