About 18,000 people are severely injured every year in Germany, as determined by Florian Debus and coauthors in a new study published in Deutsches Ärzteblatt International. Earlier investigations, in 2000 and 2006, estimated that more than 32,000 people sustain multiple trauma each year. The newly calculated lower number likely reflects a reduction of severe injuries caused by road traffic and occupational accidents.
Having a correct estimate of the number of critically injured patients is essential to assure that trauma centers and other medical facilities maintain sufficient space and resources for their treatment. However, the actual number in Germany was not known until now. To determine this number, the authors of this study used three different methods of calculation: they analyzed the number of critically injured patients during one year in Bavaria, in selected hospitals, or within 17 regional trauma networks. The results obtained were then extrapolated to the total population of Germany. All three methods showed a comparable number of trauma patients in Germany, of about 18,300 persons per year. The authors point out that this number can now be used to determine the required resources for treatment that should be kept available.
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