Worldwide, trauma kills 6 million people every year. In the UK, 46 people lose their lives from serious injury every day.

Trauma touches everyone. Traumatic injury is the biggest killer of people under at the age of 40 and the greatest cause of permanent disability. With the aging of the population, it is also now a leading cause of death and morbidity for elderly people, second only to Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.

Each year in the UK up to 17,000 people die from road traffic collisions, interpersonal violence or falls from height. Or to put it another way, every two weeks a 747 plane, full of people crashes killing everyone on-board.

But thankfully things are changing.  Trauma research is helping us understand how the body responds to injury, leading to improvements and innovations in resuscitation, surgery and intensive care. C4TS has played a leading UK and global role in these improvements, even though trauma research receives less than 1% of all healthcare research funding in the UK. 

Only through research in trauma can we reduce the chance of dying from massive bleeding, reduce the disability from brain and spinal injury and reduce suffering for all trauma survivors. 

Centre Overview

C4TS is one of the very few centres worldwide that have both the institutional commitment, breadth/depth of research and infrastructure to support translational research in traumatic injury.  This structure and research programme has enabled us to create new survivors who previously would have died from their injuries.  

Clinical Trials Unit

The Clinical Trials Unit (CTU) supports C4TS with all aspects of clinical trial planning, set up, conduct, analysis and publication. We are also able to provide a CTU service for other institutions interested in conducting trials in bleeding, multiple organ dysfunction post-injury, and elderly trauma.

Bleeding and Coagulation

Trauma haemorrhage is often considered the largest cause of preventable deaths in the world. Half of all trauma fatalities are due to bleeding, with over 2.5 million people a year bleeding to death from their injuries. The Queen Mary and Royal London team was the first to identify that one quarter of all severely injured and shocked patients develop a clotting abnormality, termed early Trauma Induced Coagulopathy (TIC,) within minutes of injury. This research theme focuses on better understanding TIC and discovering improved diagnostics and treatments to reduce deaths and morbidities from blood loss.

Organ Failure & Protection

Trauma patients who survive the initial injury often go on to develop multiple organ failure due to the massive physiological insult. Multiple organ failure can result in late deaths, requires prolonged intensive care support, increases complications and leads to worse long-term outcomes. By further understanding the mechanisms by which the body suffers organ failure after trauma, we are able to develop and trial new organ protective agents and strategies.

Outcomes After Traumatic Injury

Patients who survive severe injury are often left permanently disabled and dependent on family and the state for support. Most research in trauma care focuses on the use of mortality as an outcome. While easy to measure this has a significant limitation as it excludes interventions that may improve the patient experience, reduce complications and long-term disability. Our outcomes research includes measuring intermediate and long-term outcomes in trauma patients for trauma trials and understanding which aspects of acute care impact on intermediate & long-term outcomes.

Brain and Spinal Cord Injury

Neurotrauma is the biggest cause of injury related death and disability.Despite many advances in brain imaging and brain monitoring, there are few therapeutic options for brain injury and outcomes remain universally poor.This research theme focuses on the development of novel neuroprotective agents for Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Spinal Cord Injury (SCI). Both are conditions in which cells may be damaged and subsequently die.

Trauma Systems

C4TS undertakes a range of activities to support the successful translation of trauma sciences research into clinical practice and public policy.  These include; undertaking research into the impact and effectiveness of trauma systems; the barriers to the uptake of evidence-based trauma care; conducting epidemiological research on local, regional, national and international scales with a focus on injury prevention, and disseminating C4TS expertise and discoveries to the public and policymakers. 


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