Global & Disaster Medicine

Archive for the ‘Trauma’ Category

A review of injuries associated with drone attacks in Gaza

The Lancet Planetary Health

“……drone strikes were associated with more proximal amputations that needed more surgical operations after initial life-saving emergency surgery than traumatic amputations caused by other types of explosive weapons. …..”


A review of various commercial tourniquets


Each year, 1.25 million people lose their lives on the world’s roads and another 20 to 50 million are seriously injured.

World Bank

, The High Toll of Traffic Injuries: Unacceptable and Preventable

“….Key findings from the report include:

  • Reducing the number of RTIs leads to long-term national income growth. This correlation is easy to establish as RTIs are the single largest cause of mortality and long-term disability among young people aged 15-29 (prime working age).
  • Significant long-term income growth—7 to 22% increase in GDP per capita over 24 years—can be achieved by halving road traffic deaths and injuries, in line with the current UN targets.
  • The study goes beyond productivity or economic gains, and highlights the broader welfare benefits associated with reducing road traffic mortality and morbidity, adding years of life free of injuries and lasting disabilities. This recognizes that GDP is an imperfect measure of social welfare, as it does not factor health benefits. The study finds welfare benefits equivalent to 6 to 32% of the national GDP can be realized from reducing road deaths and injuries by 50% over 24 years.
  • By maximizing healthy years of life, free of injuries and disabilities, actions to reduce road traffic injuries can help countries increase productivity, enhance the well-being of their populations, and build human capital—a key developmental priority for the World Bank.
  • Road safety goes beyond the transport sector, with a direct impact on public health, societies, and economies. Likewise, because road safety is an inherently cross-sectoral issue, real progress can only happen if all relevant stakeholders unite their efforts.….”


Reducing speed to save lives by Dr Margaret Chan, WHO Director-General, and Michael R. Bloomberg, WHO Global Ambassador for Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs)


Reducing speed to save lives

Dr Margaret Chan, WHO Director-General, and
Michael R. Bloomberg, WHO Global Ambassador for Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs)

9 May 2017

We can save so many lives around the world if we just slow down. Each year, more than 1.25 million people – many of them young people – die in automobile crashes. And a large proportion of these deaths are preventable: about one third are due to vehicles traveling at excessive speeds. In low- and middle-income countries, that figure is closer to half.

Dr Margaret Chan

Dr Margaret Chan, the Director-General of WHO

Regardless of where one lives, speeding is a lethal problem. Studies show that on most roads, in most countries, 40–50% of all cars travel above the posted speed limit. And whether or not a car is speeding can be the difference between life and death. For example, someone who is hit by a vehicle traveling at 50 miles (80 kilometers) per hour has a 3 times higher risk of dying than if they had been hit by a vehicle moving at 30 miles (48 kilometers) per hour.

This means that just setting urban speed limits at 30 miles per hour or less, and allowing local authorities to reduce speed limits further around schools and other areas with high pedestrian traffic, would save many lives. It is encouraging that 47 countries around the world are already implementing these commonsense practices. But we must do far more to expand the reach of such measures, and to ensure that more governments adopt them.

Success through a comprehensive approach

Not surprisingly, countries that have embraced a comprehensive approach to road safety, such as the Netherlands, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom, have had the most success in reducing their rates of death and injury from automobile accidents. These countries have made it a high priority to reduce rates of speeding, and they have taken steps to improve the safety of their roads, vehicles, drivers, and all others who use roads, including pedestrians and motorcyclists.

For example, proactive countries have built their roads to include features that calm traffic, such as roundabouts. They have also established speed limits tailored to local road conditions, while stepping up enforcement to deter traffic violations. And they have begun to require that all new cars include life-saving technologies such as autonomous emergency braking.

Safer streets, healthier cities

Municipal leaders worldwide – from Addis Ababa to Mumbai to Bangkok – have played a key role in implementing these measures, which are not just saving lives, but also making their cities healthier in other ways. Safer streets encourage more people to walk and cycle, helping to reduce air pollution, which has been linked to chronic respiratory disease, cancer, and other noncommunicable diseases.

To build on these achievements, Bloomberg Philanthropies, the World Health Organization, and other partners are working with municipal leaders to help them gather the data needed to identify problem areas more effectively. They can then determine where to target their limited resources to make the biggest improvements. We are also providing support for local authorities to stage public-awareness campaigns that will help build grassroots support for new road-safety legislation and stronger penalties.

Improving road safety is one of the biggest opportunities we have to save lives around the world. And the good news is that, starting with the solutions outlined above, we already know how to do it.

Michael R. Bloomberg, WHO Global Ambassador for Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs)

Michael R. Bloomberg, WHO Global Ambassador for Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs)

The fourth annual United Nations Global Road Safety Week, May 8-14, provides a chance to draw more attention to these solutions. Over the course of the week, community events are being held in cities around the world, to help raise awareness of the problem and advance more solutions. These events will take many forms: street traffic will be slowed down, campaigns will be launched in many schools, and roundtable discussions will be held to explore how we can ensure that smart policies continue to spread.

All of these events and initiatives will bring together local and national leaders in government, civil society, business, law enforcement, and other sectors. To learn more about the week’s events, and how every community can take steps to reduce speeding, we encourage readers to visit the Road Safety Week website.

A world in which far fewer lives are lost to automobile accidents is possible and entirely within our reach. It is up to all of us to make it a reality.

Fourth UN Global Road Safety Week


Fourth UN Global Road Safety Week 2017
8-14 May 2017

Save Lives: #SlowDown

The UN Road Safety Collaboration is pleased to announce that the Fourth UN Global Road Safety Week will be held from 8-14 May 2017. The Week will focus on speed and what can be done to address this key risk factor for road traffic deaths and injuries. Speed contributes to around one-third of all fatal road traffic crashes in high-income countries, and up to half in low- and middle-income countries.

Countries successfully reducing road traffic deaths have done so by prioritizing safety when managing speed. Among the proven strategies to address speed include:

  • Building or modifying roads to include features that calm traffic
  • Establishing speed limits to the function of each road
  • Enforcing speed limits
  • Installing in-vehicle technologies
  • Raising awareness about the dangers of speeding.

The Fourth UN Global Road Safety Week seeks to increase understanding of the dangers of speed and generate action on measures to address speed, thereby saving lives on the roads.

Fourth UN Global Road Safety Week web site


Managing speed document

Slow Down Days: a toolkit for organizers


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