Catastrophic injuries becoming more survivable with tech advances

Just a decade ago, a firefighter would not have survived suffering burns over 95 percent of his body. Nor would a forklift operator who had sustained a traumatic brain injury, spinal cord trauma and a fractured pelvis. Today, dramatically improved outcomes can be achieved for people suffering these devastating injuries.

Experts say these improvements came about from a combination of factors. First, lessons have been learned from treating a large number of military service people for serious burns, amputations, brain trauma or spinal cord injuries. Researchers and practicing doctors have made discoveries that have improved treatment. Finally, advancements in technology have made certain care and coordination tasks easier.

That's great news for patients, although there are some additional costs which will need to be taken into account. That said, the potential improvement in patient outcomes could mean that costs are higher in the beginning but ultimately lower overall.

There have been some amazing innovations in the treatments available for catastrophic injuries, and more are on the way. Some of them, like laboratory-grown skin grafts specific to the patient's DNA, could be game-changing in terms of preventing rejection of the grafts. Others seem like pure science fiction, such as robotic suits that can be controlled by the brain.

Interestingly, some of the most useful new technology for patients isn't all that high tech. For example, people suffering from spinal injuries have trouble getting dressed, but a device called Pants Up Easy can help. Fitness apps can help wheelchair users stay in shape, or ensure patients take their medication by logging it when they do.

One of the main drivers of these improved outcomes, surprisingly, turns out to be better case management. Cases involving catastrophic injuries need long-term care from a large number of different providers, and that makes coordination and communication critical.

Caring for patients with catastrophic burns or trauma is always a challenge. Their medical conditions fluctuate constantly and can be affected by physical inactivity and depression. They may already have, or may develop, comorbid conditions like obesity and high blood pressure, which can make treatment more difficult.

Patients also come into contact with numerous healthcare and related providers who may not all be on the same page. Doctors, specialists, physical therapists, psychologists, home health workers, transport services, medical equipment suppliers, pharmacists and many others could all be coming and going. They need to agree on an achievable functionality goal and then communicate clearly and consistently with the whole team for as long as the patient is being treated.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Steven H. Dorne

Attorney Steven H. Dorne

Attorney Steven H. Dorne is an accomplished lawyer who practices in state and federal courts in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. He brings more than 30 years of experience and a long record of success to each case. His law practice is distinguished by careful preparation and thorough analysis of each case...

Learn More
  • Virginia Trial Lawyers Association
  • ABA
  • Trial Lawyers Association Of Metropolitan Washington D.C | Working For Justice
  • Maryland Association For Justice
  • American Association For Justice
  • MSBA

Call Or Email For A Free Consultation

If you have suffered a personal injury in a car crash or other accident, need help with another type of dispute, we are prepared to help. Contact our lawyer online or call 877-234-4179 to schedule an initial consultation. There is no cost or obligation to contact us. Se habla español. For your convenience, we have offices in Washington D.C., Rockville, Greenbelt and Fairfax.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Rockville Office
200-A Monroe St.
Suite 100
Rockville, MD 20850

Toll Free: 877-234-4179
Phone: 301-637-8078
Fax: 301-251-0730
Map & Directions

Rockville Office

Washington D.C. Office
1150 Seventeenth St. NW
Suite 305
Washington, D.C. 20036

Toll Free: 877-234-4179
Phone: 301-637-8078
Fax: 301-251-0730
Map & Directions

Washington Office

Capital Office Park
6305 Ivy Lane
Suite 408
Greenbelt, MD 20770

Toll Free: 877-234-4179
Phone: 301-637-8078
Fax: 301-251-0730
Map & Directions

Greenbelt Office

Fairfax Office
10521 Judicial Dr.
Suite 303
Fairfax, VA 22030

Toll Free: 877-234-4179
Phone: 703-722-6446
Fax: 301-251-0730
Map & Directions

Fairfax Office
  • Toll Free 877-234-4179
  • Maryland/D.C. 301-637-8078
  • Virginia 703-722-6446
  • Fax 301-251-0730
Back To Top