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Trauma care in the military and civilian sectors is a portrait of contradiction. On one hand, the nation has never seen better systems of care for those wounded on the battlefield or severely injured within the United States. On the other, many trauma patients, depending on when or where they are injured, do not receive the benefit of those gains. Far too many die needlessly or sustain lifelong disabilities as a result. Hundreds or more U.S. service member lives could likely be saved in future wars if trauma care were optimal. Those potential gains soar into the tens of thousands of lives saved if past and future improvements in military trauma care could be systematically translated into the civilian sector.
To this end, sponsors representing both the military and civilian sectors asked the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to convene a committee to recommend ways to ensure that lessons learned from the military’s experiences in Afghanistan and Iraq are sustained and built on for future combat operations–and that they are translated into the civilian system. The resulting report, A National Trauma Care System: Integrating Military and Civilian Trauma Systems to Achieve Zero Preventable Deaths After Injury
, presents a vision for a national trauma care system driven by the clear and bold aim of zero preventable deaths after injury and minimal trauma-related disability to benefit those the nation sends into harm’s way in combat as well as every American.