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Open Access Highly Accessed Review

Care of the injured worldwide: trauma still the neglected disease of modern society

Joseph V Sakran12*, Sarah E Greer2, Evan Werlin3 and Maureen McCunn4

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Surgery, Medical University of South Carolina, 96 Jonathan Lucas Street (MSC 613/CSB 420), Charleston, SC, 29425-6130, USA

2 Department of Surgery, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, 3400 Spruce Street, Maloney 5, Philadelphia, PA, 19104, USA

3 Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, 3400 Spruce Street, Maloney 5, Philadelphia, PA, 19104, USA

4 Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, 3400 Spruce Street, Dulles 6, Philadelphia, PA, 19104, USA

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Scandinavian Journal of Trauma, Resuscitation and Emergency Medicine 2012, 20:64  doi:10.1186/1757-7241-20-64

Published: 15 September 2012

Abstract

Traditionally, surgical diseases including emergency and injury care have garnered less attention and support internationally when compared to other medical specialties. Over the past decade however, healthcare professionals have increasingly advocated for the need to address the global burden of non-communicable diseases. Surgical disease, including traumatic injury, is among the top causes of death and disability worldwide and the subsequent economic burden is substantial, falling disproportionately on low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The future of global health in these regions depends on a redirection of attention to diseases managed within surgical, anesthesia and emergency specialties. Increasing awareness of these disparities, as well as increasing focus in the realms of policy and advocacy, is crucial. While the barriers to providing quality trauma and emergency care worldwide are not insurmountable, we must work together across disciplines and across boundaries in order to negotiate change and reduce the global burden of surgical disease.