The burden of trauma highlighted in annual report
Trauma injuries continue to inflict an enormous burden on Midland communities, the latest annual report from the Midland Trauma System shows. Midland is the health region covered by five district health boards – Waikato, Lakes, Tairawhiti, Bay of Plenty, and Taranaki.
The Midland Trauma System (MTS) team documented over 7000 admissions to Midland hospitals in 2018; involving 27,882 bed days at a cost to our hospitals of over $47 million.
- Māori in our region are on average 20% more likely to be hospitalised due to an injury and the numbers are increasing. This is especially prominent in the 15-24 age group.
- Older person trauma is also on the rise, with falls continue to be the greatest cause of injury overall, and will be the topic of more focused research in 2019.
- Trauma is the leading cause of death for New Zealanders under 45 years.
MTS clinical director Grant Christey says trauma continues to have a major impact on Midland communities and health services.
“Disability and suffering can continue long after discharge. It can be a long road for survivors with injuries who need a range of ongoing complex physical, psychological and emotional care.
“We also believe that most trauma is preventable. Through our research programme we are identifying communities and groups at risk of injury that may benefit from focused preventions.”
Health equity for Māori remains a priority for Midland DHBs, and identifying Māori specific issues will assist DHBs to consider actions to improve health outcomes.
The MTS annual report shows that the incidence of trauma among Māori in the Midland Region has been rising slowly over the past five years. An equity gap has also continued to persist over this time, and .
- In 2018 the relative risk for Māori was 1.12 compared to non-Māori. This means that across all age groups and DHBs Māori have 12% higher chance of being hospitalised following injury than non-Māori in our region.
- Young Māori, particularly male Māori between 15-39 years of age, are at significant risk compared to non-Māori of the same age.
- Road traffic crash and assault are prominent in Māori, and justify focussed interventions. Burns are also a significant cause of injury among Māori, 46.7% (28 out of 60 cases) of which were among those aged 0 to 4 years.