Physical trauma is a serious injury to the body. Two main types of physical trauma are:
Surgery can also cause physical trauma, sometimes called a controlled injury.
Psychological trauma is an emotional or psychological injury. It usually results from an extremely stressful or life-threatening situation. For more information on psychological trauma, visit the National Institute of Mental Health's
Coping with Traumatic Events.
Research on how the body responds to trauma has led to advances in the following areas:
This means people who might have died from infection or blood loss before these advances have a better chance at survival today.
Researchers are making important discoveries about how the body responds to trauma. For example:
NIGMS-funded research is directed toward an improved understanding of immediate as well as prolonged total body response to injury. This includes the following areas:
Articles, videos, images, and more about
physical trauma and sepsis can be found on the NIGMS Science Education page. The
American Trauma Society also has information about injury prevention and trauma care.
NIGMS does not provide specific medical advice, but rather provides users with information to help them better understand health and disease. Please consult with a qualified health care professional for answers to personal medical questions.
NIGMS is a part of the National Institutes of Health that supports basic research to increase our understanding of biological processes and lay the foundation for advances in disease diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. For more information on the Institute's research and training programs, see
Content revised January 2018
This page last reviewed on
1/16/2019 9:19 AM
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