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June 2000

Trauma and Trauma Care Systems: In the Throes of an Identity Crisis: A Plea for Changing the Vernacular and the Mind-set

Arch Surg. 2000;135(6):716-718. doi:10.1001/archsurg.135.6.716

LET ME propose abandoning the term, the concept, and the hope of a separate but equal, broad-ranging, "trauma care system" within a greater health care system. We need to adopt a mind-set of dealing with the injury control component of public health promotion. Why? Because the word trauma and the concept of an isolated system to take care of it are ill defined, poorly understood, unworkable, and outdated in today's health care environment.

In a keynote address at the Skamania Symposium on Trauma Care Systems, Mark Rosenberg1 lamented that trauma system development is perhaps not where it should be. They asked, "What's the catch?" The catch may be that the current state of trauma systems is in the throes of an identity crisis.

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