Trauma Research & Education

Dedicated to Whole Healthcare for the Whole Family

University Health belongs to the people of this community. While we are dedicated to best-in-class trauma care, we also believe in the importance of trauma research and injury prevention.


Our Trauma Research Program focuses on innovations to treat critical injury.

Our team members involved in research have set four specific goals:

  • Increase understanding in the care of trauma and critically ill patients
  • Increase public awareness of trauma
  • Optimize care for critically injured patients
  • Allow patients and families to participate in studies that may impact the future of critical care


The only cure for trauma is prevention. University Health dedicates itself and its resources to injury prevention through educational opportunities and events for our community. We’re actively involved with the Southwest Texas Regional Advisory Council (STRAC) to support essential trauma programs in and around San Antonio.

Through our Injury Prevention Department, we also promote child and adult safety with programs designed to eliminate traumatic incidents. We focus on many initiatives, such as car seat inspections and installations, school and community education and parent and child education.

Community Trauma Reports

University Health released its 2017 Community Trauma Report during National Trauma Awareness Month in May, 2018. The report looks at major causes of serious injuries and trends in South Texas over a five-year period, using data from thousands of trauma patients seen at University Hospital. This year’s report also shines a spotlight on the important and unusual partnership between the level I trauma centers at University Hospital and Brooke Army Medical Center.

“South Texas is extremely fortunate to enjoy a unique civilian-military partnership that provides not only the very best care to those who suffer life-threatening injuries, but also works together to improve that care through research and trauma system development. This partnership has greatly improved the survival odds in one of the fastest-growing regions in the nation,” wrote Dr. Brian Eastridge, chief of trauma and emergency surgery, and professor of surgery at UT Health San Antonio, in the report’s introduction.

University Hospital’s level I trauma center treated 7,293 people — 5,361 adults and 1,932 children — in 2017. That was a 68 percent increase over a five-year period. Each year, the number of both adults and children with serious injuries has grown during those five years. Falls were the leading cause of injury among all age groups, with car crashes the second-leading cause.

This year’s Spotlight section, which features three causes of injuries identified by members of the trauma team as problems in our community, looks at fireworks, injuries during pregnancy and children hit by cars while walking to school.

Read the annual Community Trauma Reports.

Where Research Begins

Trauma and other critical care studies most often originate in one of these areas:

  • Investigator-initiated studies focused on the South Texas patient population
  • Industry-sponsored national multicenter studies
  • Federally funded grants through the National Institutes of Health

Areas of Study

Trauma studies focus on topics and concerns that may affect you during or after a traumatic injury. We are studying several areas, including:

  • Acute lung injury
  • Adult respiratory distress syndrome
  • Blood utilization
  • Blood substitutes
  • Intra-abdominal infections
  • Operative versus nonoperative management of trauma patients
  • Surgical infection
  • Surgical nutrition
  • Ventilator management and weaning

Published Research

We are proud to advance medical treatments and standards through our research. Some of our work has been published in medical journals, including studies on:

  • Injury prevention
  • General surgery
  • Orthopedic trauma
  • Trauma