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What is physical trauma?

Physical trauma is a serious injury to the body.  

Psychological trauma is an emotional or psychological injury, usually resulting from an extremely stressful or life-threatening situation. 

How many people die from physical trauma each year in the United States?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, unintentional injury kills more people between the ages of 1 and 44 than any other disease or illness. More years of potential life are lost due to injury than to heart disease or cancer.

What is the prognosis for severely injured people?

People with major injuries have a better chance of survival today than in any time in the past. Yet trauma patients still face the risk of death from shock (caused by massive blood loss), infection, multiple organ dysfunction syndrome, acute respiratory distress syndrome or sepsis.

How has basic research improved care for trauma patients?

Research on the body's physiological response to trauma led to advances in fluid resuscitation, wound cleaning, infection control and nutritional support. As a result, survival rates increased dramatically, along with the health, functioning and quality of life of survivors.

What are researchers learning about the body's response to major trauma?

What is on the horizon for trauma research?

What kinds of trauma research does the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) support?

NIGMS sponsors basic and clinical research to improve understanding of the biological processes that occur after traumatic injury, bring basic scientific observations and principles into the clinical arena, and foster interactions and communications within institutions and throughout the trauma community. The research is ultimately aimed at reducing or preventing complications after a traumatic injury.


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