[trou-muh-tol-uh-jee, traw-]
Traumatology (from Greek "Trauma" meaning injury or wound), is the study of wounds and injuries caused by accidents or violence to a person, and the surgical therapy and repair of the damage. Traumatology is a branch of medicine. It is often considered a subset of surgery and in countries without the specialty of trauma surgery it is most often a subspecialty to orthopedic surgery. Traumatology may also be known as accident surgery.

Wounds and injuries are assessed as being serious or not serious (a process known as triage) upon admission to a hospital's Casualty department (Emergency Department ED (but also still called Accident and Emergency A&E in the UK), Emergency Room ER in US). A wound is usually caused by mechanical force, or sometimes by chemical reactions as in the case of burns.

Factors in the assessment of wounds are:

  • the nature of the wound, whether it is a laceration, abrasion, bruise or burn
  • the size of the wound in length, width and depth
  • the extent of the overall area of tissue damage caused by the impact of a mechanical force, or the reaction to chemical agents in, for example, fires or exposure to caustic substances.

Forensic physicians, as well as pathologists may also be required to examine wounds (traumas) on persons alive or deceased.

The International Journal of Traumatology

The field of trauma research and practice focusing on psychological trauma has also been called Traumatic Stress Studies (Figley, 1978) and Psychotraumatology (Everly & Lating, 1995. The first use of traumatology as a field representing this broader psychosocial meaning was published in Helping the Hurt Child (Donovan & McIntyre, 1990). The International Journal of Traumatology, emerged in 1995.

Traumatology can also refer to the study, development and application of pyschological and counselling services for people who have experienced extreme events - e.g. see Wiki Glossary of Traumatology under External Links

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