Understanding the burden of traumatic injuries at the United States-Mexico border: A scoping review of the literature

Benjamin A. Keller, Jeffrey Skubic, Monica Betancourt-Garcia, Romeo C. Ignacio, Jason S. Radowsky, Alan H. Tyroch, Carlos Palacio Lascano, Bellal Joseph, Collin Stewart, Forrest O. Moore, Todd W. Costantini, Julie A. Rizzo, Jasmeet S. Paul, Roger M. Galindo, Aaron Silva, Raul Coimbra, Allison E. Berndtson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The US-Mexico border is the busiest land crossing in the world and faces continuously increasing numbers of undocumented border crossers. Significant barriers to crossing are present in many regions of the border, including walls, bridges, rivers, canals, and the desert, each with unique features that can cause traumatic injury. The number of patients injured attempting to cross the border is also increasing, but significant knowledge gaps regarding these injuries and their impacts remain. The purpose of this scoping literature review is to describe the current state of trauma related to the US-Mexico border to draw attention to the problem, identify knowledge gaps in the existing literature, and introduce the creation of a consortium made up of representatives from border trauma centers in the Southwestern United States, the Border Region Doing Research on Trauma Consortium. Consortium members will collaborate to produce multicenter up-to-date data on the medical impact of the US-Mexico border, helping to elucidate the true magnitude of the problem and shed light on the impact cross-border trauma has on migrants, their families, and the US health care system. Only once the problem is fully described can meaningful solutions be provided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)276-284
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1 2023


  • Border
  • migrant
  • trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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