Trauma

Definition

Trauma is a serious injury or shock to the body. It is caused by a physical force, such as violence or an accident. The injury may be complicated by psychiatric, behavioral, and social factors. This can cause the injuries to be greater than just physical ones.
Brain Trauma from Whiplash
Whiplash brain
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Causes

Some causes of trauma include:
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Falls
  • Near-drowning
  • Gunshots
  • Fires and burns
  • Stabbing
  • Other physical assault
  • Fire, flood, earthquake, lightening, or other natural disaster
  • Contact sports
  • Electrical shock
  • Animal attacks
  • Explosions
  • Plane crashes

Risk Factors

Trauma is more likely if you are aged 1-44 years. Other factors that may increase the chance of trauma include:
  • Not wearing a seatbelt in a vehicle
  • Drinking alcohol and driving a vehicle or boat
  • Cell phone use (especially texting), or other distractions while driving
  • Improper use or storage of firearms
  • Unsafe home conditions that can lead to falls, such as unsecured area rugs, wet floors, cords running across the middle of the room, or poorly lit halls and stairwells
  • Not wearing proper protective equipment while playing sports, or while working with or using dangerous equipment (like a chainsaw)
  • Improper use of dangerous machinery, such as powertools, chainsaws, lawn mowers, or snowblowers
  • Fighting with fists or weapons, especially after drinking alcohol
  • Improper car seat use that results in a child falling from an elevated surface, or the occupied car seat flipping or rolling
  • Not using smoke detectors or not changing dead batteries in a timely manner
  • Swimming alone or without previous lessons
  • Not watching your child while they are swimming
  • Not using lifejackets while swimming or boating
  • Improper fencing or locks around swimming pools
  • Approaching an animal unsafely or aggressively

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