2017 Community Trauma Report

University Health System released its 2017 Community Trauma Report during National Trauma Awareness Month in May, 2018. The report looks at major causes of serious injuries and trends in South Texas over a five-year period, using data from thousands of trauma patients seen at University Hospital. This year’s report also shines a spotlight on the important and unusual partnership between the level I trauma centers at University Hospital and Brooke Army Medical Center.

University Hospital’s level I trauma center treated 7,293 people — 5,361 adults and 1,932 children — in 2017. That was a 68 percent increase over a five-year period. Each year, the number of both adults and children with serious injuries has grown during those five years. Falls were the leading cause of injury among all age groups, with car crashes the second-leading cause.

This year’s Spotlight section, which features three causes of injuries identified by members of the trauma team as problems in our community, looks at fireworks, injuries during pregnancy and children hit by cars while walking to school.

Among the report’s other highlights:

Injuries to children

  • Car crashes — the rate (per 100,000) of children injured in car crashes in 2017 increased by 173 percent over a five-year period.
  • Falls — fall injuries for children rose from 396 in 2016 to 439 in 2017. Falls were the No. 2 injury cause among children.
  • Bicycle injuries —the bike injury rate for children has gone up nearly 36 percent from five years ago, with 45 children injured in 2017.
  • Animal bites — children injured by animal bites rose from 63 in 2016 to 75 in 2017.
  • Burns — hot soup was the leading cause of burns involving children at 16 percent. Boiling water was the second leading cause at 12 percent.
  • Pedestrian injuries — 89 children were hit by cars in 2017, with a rate that is 89 percent higher than five years earlier.

Injuries to adults

  • Car crashes — the car crash injury rate for adults rose 45 percent over a five-year period. Car crashes were the No. 2 leading injury cause among adults ages 44 and younger.
  • Falls — the rate of adults injured in falls is up 66 percent over a five-year period.
  • Violence — the overall rate of injuries from violent causes rose 112 percent over the five-year period up to 2017.

University Hospital is the premier Level 1 trauma center for a 22-county region of South and Central Texas, and the only Level 1 pediatric trauma center and burn program in the region. With its physician partners at UT Health San Antonio, University Hospital provides comprehensive, around-the-clock care for life-threatening injuries.

Read the Community Trauma Report 2017.