The primary cause of mortality in children and young adults is trauma. Injuries from motor vehicle accidents, bicycle accidents, home injuries, and violent crime take a large toll of our young, otherwise healthy population.
A 16-year-old single girl arrives in the emergency department with a gunshot wound to the head. The entrance wound is just above one ear, and the exit, with brain protruding, is above the other ear (generally a rapidly lethal injury).
A 30-year-old man collapses in the downtown area of a large city. He is thin and looks chronically ill. A friend is with him and asks people passing by if they know CPR.
Two paramedics are called to the home of a 60-year-old man (Mr. Smith) suffering from chest pain. Vital signs reveal a blood pressure of 90/60, a pulse of 50 and irregular, and respirations of 24.