2016 Community Trauma Report

A team of doctors and nurses push a man on a stretcher through a white hallway.University Health System released its third annual Community Trauma Report on January 19, 2017. 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.

University Hospital’s Level I trauma center treated 5,280 people— 3,938 adults and 1,342 children — in 2015, a number that was 14 percent higher than the previous year. Falls were the leading cause of injury among patients of all ages. The Spotlight section of this year’s report takes a closer look at how blood thinners worsen outcomes when elderly people fall.  Pellet gun injuries among children, and unintentional shootings among people of all ages, also are examined.

Among the report’s other highlights:

Injuries to children

  • Car crashes — the rate (per 100,000) of children injured in car crashes in 2015 jumped by 37 percent from the previous year, after a slight dip in the rate in 2014. Over five years, car crash injuries involving children are up 34 percent.
  • Bicycle injuries —the bike injury rate for children has gone up nearly 300 percent from five years ago, with 44 children injured in 2015.
  • Animal bites — the rate of children injured by animal bites rose 230 percent between 2011 and 2015, when 47 children were bitten
  • Burns — hot soup was the leading cause of burns involving children at 18 percent. Boiling water was the second leading cause at 12 percent.
  • Pedestrian injuries — 64 children were hit by cars in 2015, with a rate that is 60 percent higher than five years earlier.

Injuries to adults

  • Car crashes — the car crash injury rate for adults rose 20 percent over a five-year period. Car crashes were the leading injury cause among adults ages 44 and younger.
  • Bicycle injuries — the rate of adults injured on bicycles has grown by 145 percent since 2011.
  • Falls — the rate of adults injured in falls roughly doubled between 2011 and 2015.
  • Violence — the overall rate of injuries from violent causes rose 44 percent over the five-year period up to 2015, with the biggest increase among unarmed assaults.

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 2016.