Strengthening trauma care in China

BMJ 2017; 359 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j5545 (Published 19 December 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;359:j5545
  1. Ni Chen, research nurse,
  2. Changqing Zhang, professor of orthopaedics,
  3. Sanlian Hu, director of nursing administrative department
  1. Shanghai Jiao Tong University Affiliated Sixth People’s Hospital, Shanghai,200233, China
  2. Correspondence to: C Zhang zhangcq@sjtu.edu.cn

Fundamental reform of services is required to reduce high mortality from injuries

China’s main healthcare burdens are shifting from infectious diseases and perinatal health problems to non-communicable diseases and injuries. Injury is a leading cause of death and disability for young people in China, mostly from road traffic injuries.1 The latest World Health Organization data (for2013) show that China has a higher incidence of road traffic related deaths (18.8/100 000 population) than the average for high and middle income countries (9.2 and 18.4 deaths per 100 000, respectively).2

Well organised trauma care systems in high income countries have been shown to substantially reduce deaths rates from injury, which may partly explain the considerably better outcomes after road traffic injury in these countries.3 China lacks these integrated systems (from pre-hospital care to rehabilitation), and deficiencies in elements of trauma care have hindered efforts to reduce the unacceptably high rates of injuries and deaths.

One pressing concern is the need for an adequately trained workforce to meet the complex needs of trauma patients. …

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