1. Laura Hoemeke (Global Health Consultant and Adjunct Professor, University of North Carolina (UNC) Gillings School of Global Public Health, USA)
2. Nigel Rossiter (Consultant Trauma and Orthopaedic surgeon, Chair of the Primary Trauma Care Foundation, United Kingdom)
Most of the world’s population is fully aware that the world has been experiencing a global pandemic for more than a year and a half.  COVID-19 is highly contagious, and, along with other infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis, receive more than 60% of the global healthcare funding budget.
Most of the world’s population, even global health experts, may not realise that the mortality and morbidity caused by COVID-19 added together with these other infectious diseases still does not reach the numbers who die or are injured, either permanently or temporarily, by injuries and physical trauma every year. Every year, between 5 and 6 million people die from physical trauma, and another 50 to 80 million are disabled, often for life. This equates to the death of the population of the whole of the island of Ireland and injuring the entire population of Russia.  Unlike the 60% healthcare budget going to infectious disease less than 1% of global health funding, unfortunately, is devoted to preventing and treating physical injuries and trauma – which causes more morbidity and mortality.
When COVID-19 began the world experienced an initial dip in the numbers of physical injuries, but the injuries that did present were often more serious and experienced delays in treatment due to the issues around COVID-19 in healthcare institutions.  It has long been recognised that the effective management of serious injury is time critical, coining the phrase “The Golden Hour” – which is now better refers to the resuscitative time (rather than the time from the injury).Much can be done to improve the global situation as many of these deaths and injuries are preventable, indeed the greatest cause of injuries results from the road and is part of UN Sustainable Development Goal 3.6.  Improvements come largely under the headings of: Prevention, Pre-hospital care, Transport, Immediate in-hospital care, Secondary care, Rehabilitation, Data, Political change/will.  All within Trauma Systems.
Further reading
These two recent articles highlight all these issues and are well worth a read:
“The golden hour: the critical time between life and death.”
“Trauma – the forgotten pandemic?


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