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Mutschler, W.; Mutschler, M.; Graw, M. and Lefering, R. (2016): Langzeitüberleben nach schwerem Trauma. In: Unfallchirurg, Vol. 119, No. 7: pp. 546-553

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Long-term survival after severe trauma is rarely addressed in German trauma journals although knowledge of life expectancy and identification of factors contributing to increasedmortality are important for lifetime care management, development of service models, and targeting health promotion and prevention interventions. As reliable data in Germany are lacking, we compiled data mainly from the USA and Australia to describe life expectancy, risk factors, and predictors of outcome in patients experiencing traumatic spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, and polytrauma. Two years after trauma, life expectancy in all three categories was significantly lower than that of the general population. It depends strongly on severity of disability, age, and gender and is quantifiable. Whereas improvements in medical care have led to a marked decline in short-term mortality, surprisingly long-term survival in severe trauma has not changed over the past 30 years. Therefore, there is need to intensify long-term trauma patient care and to find new strategies to limit primary damage.

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