Trauma is a serious injury or shock to the body. It is caused by a physical force, such as violence or an accident. The injury may be complicated by psychiatric, behavioral, and social factors. This can cause the disability to be greater than just physical injuries. This condition usually requires care from healthcare professionals.
Brain Trauma from Whiplash
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Some causes of trauma include:
Some factors increase your chances of developing trauma. You are at increased risk if you are aged 1-44 years.
If you experience one or more of these symptoms, do not assume it is caused by trauma. These symptoms may be caused by other, less serious health conditions. The symptoms associated with trauma vary and depend on the type of injuries you have suffered. If you experience any of them, see your doctor.
In addition, the following psychological effects may occur in response to trauma:
A medical team will assess your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.
Tests may include the following:
Talk with your doctor about the best plan for you. Treatment usually includes the following:
To help with your recovery, be sure to follow your doctor's instructions.
To help reduce your chances of trauma, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the National Safety Council recommend that you take the following steps:
American Academy of Family Physicians
Centers for Disease Control
National Safety Council
Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians
Trauma Management Group
Behrman RE, et al. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 18th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders, 2007.
Fact sheet: trauma, shock, burn, and injury: facts and figures. National Institute of General Medical Sciences website. Available at: http://publications.nigms.nih.gov/factsheets/trauma_burn_facts.html. Accessed October 3, 2006.
Goldman L, Ausiello D., eds. Cecil Textbook of Internal Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders, 2008.
Majou R, Farmer A. ABC of psychological medicine: trauma. British Medical Journal website. Available at: http://www.bmj.com/content/325/7361/426.full. Accessed October 16, 2006.
Marx, John A., et al. Rosen's Emergency Medicine. 7th ed. St. Louis, MO: Mosby, Inc., 2009.
What is trauma? Hartford Hospital website. Available at: http://www.harthosp.org/trauma/trauma.html. Accessed October 3, 2006.
Last reviewed October 2012 by Peter Lucas, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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