Childhood trauma involve aversive, distressing experiences that can affect a child’s ability to function and cope. Unfortunately, it is all too common. An estimated 46% of children experience trauma at some point in their young lives.
While kids are resilient, they’re not made of stone. Adults often say things like, ‘They were so young when that happened, they won’t even remember it as an adult.’ However, it is important to recognize that childhood trauma can have a lifelong effect.
“As children’s brains develop, they are learning how safe or unsafe the world is through their experiences,” says psychotherapist Yolanda Renteria, LPC. “A child has to develop a way to protect itself from what it deems unsafe; the ways in which a child protects itself shape their adult personality.”
Because of this, it’s important to recognize when a child may need professional help for dealing with their trauma. Early intervention can also prevent the ongoing effects of the trauma into adulthood.…Continue reading..
By: Amy Morin
Trauma is the sixth leading cause of death worldwide, resulting in five million or 10% of all deaths annually. It is the fifth leading cause of significant disability. About half of trauma deaths are in people aged between 15 and 45 years and trauma is the leading cause of death in this age group. Injury affects more males; 68% of injuries occur in males and death from trauma is twice as common in males as it is in females, this is believed to be because males are much more willing to engage in risk-taking activities.
Injuries generally are classified by either severity, the location of damage, or a combination of both. Trauma also may be classified by demographic group, such as age or gender. It also may be classified by the type of force applied to the body, such as blunt trauma or penetrating trauma. For research purposes injury may be classified using the Barell matrix, which is based on ICD-9-CM. The purpose of the matrix is for international standardization of the classification of trauma.
Major trauma sometimes is classified by body area; injuries affecting 40% are polytrauma, 30% head injuries, 20% chest trauma, 10%, abdominal trauma, and 2%, extremity trauma. Various scales exist to provide a quantifiable metric to measure the severity of injuries. The value may be used for triaging a patient or for statistical analysis. Injury scales measure damage to anatomical parts, physiological values (blood pressure etc.), comorbidities, or a combination of those.
The Abbreviated Injury Scale and the Glasgow Coma Scale are used commonly to quantify injuries for the purpose of triaging and allow a system to monitor or “trend” a patient’s condition in a clinical setting.The data also may be used in epidemiological investigations and for research purposes. Approximately 2% of those who have experienced significant trauma have a spinal cord injury.
Teenagers and young adults are more likely to need hospitalization from injuries than other age groups. While elderly persons are less likely to be injured, they are more likely to die from injuries sustained due to various physiological differences that make it more difficult for the body to compensate for the injuries. The primary causes of traumatic death are central nervous system injuries and substantial blood loss.
Various classification scales exist for use with trauma to determine the severity of injuries, which are used to determine the resources used and, for statistical collection. Most research on trauma occurs during war and military conflicts as militaries will increase trauma research spending in order to prevent combat related deaths. Some research is being conducted on patients who were admitted into an intensive care unit or trauma center, and received a trauma diagnosis that caused a negative change in their health-related quality of life, with a potential to create anxiety and symptoms of depression.
New preserved blood products also are being researched for use in pre-hospital care; it is impractical to use the currently available blood products in a timely fashion in remote, rural settings or in theaters of war. Persons with major trauma commonly have chest and pelvic x-rays taken, and, depending on the mechanism of injury and presentation, a focused assessment with sonography for trauma (FAST) exam to check for internal bleeding. For those with relatively stable blood pressure, heart rate, and sufficient oxygenation, CT scans are useful.
Full-body CT scans, known as pan-scans, improve the survival rate of those who have suffered major trauma. These scans use intravenous injections for the radiocontrast agent, but not oral administration.There are concerns that intravenous contrast administration in trauma situations without confirming adequate renal function may cause damage to kidneys, but this does not appear to be significant. In the U.S., CT or MRI scans are performed on 15% of those with trauma in emergency departments.
Where blood pressure is low or the heart rate is increased—likely from bleeding in the abdomen—immediate surgery bypassing a CT scan is recommended. Modern 64-slice CT scans are able to rule out, with a high degree of accuracy, significant injuries to the neck following blunt trauma. By identifying risk factors present within a community and creating solutions to decrease the incidence of injury, trauma referral systems may help to enhance the overall health of a population.
Injury prevention strategies are commonly used to prevent injuries in children, who are a high risk population. Injury prevention strategies generally involve educating the general public about specific risk factors and developing strategies to avoid or reduce injuries. Legislation intended to prevent injury typically involves seatbelts, child car-seats, helmets, alcohol control, and increased enforcement of the legislation. Other controllable factors, such as the use of drugs including alcohol or cocaine, increases the risk of trauma by increasing the likelihood of traffic collisions, violence, and abuse occurring.
Prescription drugs such as benzodiazepines may increase the risk of trauma in elderly people. The care of acutely injured people in a public health system requires the involvement of bystanders, community members, health care professionals, and health care systems. It encompasses pre-hospital trauma assessment and care by emergency medical services personnel, emergency department assessment, treatment, stabilization, and in-hospital care among all age groups.
An established trauma system network is also an important component of community disaster preparedness, facilitating the care of people who have been involved in disasters that cause large numbers of casualties, such as earthquakes.
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