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Authors

  1. Owens, Darrell DNP

Abstract

Trauma remains a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States. Despite the aggressive and heroic nature of trauma care, including trauma surgery, 10% to 20% of patients admitted to trauma intensive care units die. As the population continues to age, it is predicted that by 2050, approximately 40% of those experiencing traumatic injury will be older than 65 years. For multiple reasons, people in this age group who experience trauma are at greater risk for death. Palliative care is the specialty of health care that provides care for patients with serious, life-threatening, or life-limiting illness or injury, regardless of the stage of disease or treatment. The goal of palliative care is to reduce or alleviate suffering through expert pain and symptom management, as well as assistance with decision making. The integration of palliative and trauma care can assist and support patients and families through stressful, often life-changing times, regardless of the final outcome.