Study: Up to 1 in 5 trauma deaths could be prevented

Lauran Neergaard
Associated Press

Washington — A stark new report finds that up to 1 in five deaths from gunshots, car crashes or other injuries may be preventable — and that where you live may determine whether you survive.

Government advisers are urging creation of a national trauma system that puts the military’s battlefield expertise to work. Friday’s call takes on new urgency amid an increasing threat of mass-casualty events like the Orlando shootings. That massacre happened blocks from a major trauma center — an accident of geography that undoubtedly saved lives.

The report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine found death rates vary twofold between the nation’s best and worst trauma centers. But the greatest opportunity to save lives may be before the hospital, by improving nation’s patchwork of first-responder systems.