A record 3,472 seriously injured adults were treated by University Hospital’s Level I trauma center in 2014 – a rate that has risen 24 percent over a five-year period. Unlike injury trends involving children, virtually no major category of adult injury saw a decline over that five-year span from 2010 to 2014. But while five-year trends were uniformly in the wrong direction, some improvement has been seen over the past year or two in some injury categories. The rate of motorcycle injuries has declined to their lowest rate since 2010. And while car crash injuries were up slightly in 2014 compared to the previous year, the rate is down 17 percent from a peak in 2013. University Hospital has seen a big jump in injuries involving machinery, up 116 percent over a five-year period. This might be in part a result of workplace injuries and the economic rise in Eagle Ford shale counties. In other injury categories, the rate of animal bites rose by 55 percent between 2013 and 2014, and is up 210 percent over a five-year span. Falls, which are the second-leading cause of injuries treated at University Hospital, rose slightly by 2 percent over the past year, and are up 37 percent over five years. The overall rate of violent injuries rose by 59 percent over the five-year period, with the biggest jump seen in unarmed assaults, which rose 99 percent over five years. Trauma continues to be a major killer of adults in our community. In 2014, 55 percent of deaths among Bexar County residents ages 15 to 24 was due to traumatic injury and violence, and 42 percent of deaths among those ages 25 to 34, according to the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District. Dr. Ronald Stewart, trauma surgeon and chairman of surgery at the UT Health Science center, is chair of the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma, the organization charged with setting standards for trauma care and verifying the qualifications of trauma centers around the world. University Hospital’s Level I trauma center has been at the forefront of trauma care and trauma system development in South Texas since the 1970s.
2014 Community Trauma Report
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