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Unintentional injuries

Chapter 14

Chapter 14: Unintentional Injuries.

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The Importance of Unintentional Injuries

Among the single leading causes of death and DALYs lost worldwide.

In 2010, more than 3 million people died of unintentional injuries worldwide.

Unintentional injuries represent about 7% of all deaths worldwide and 9% of total DALYs.

Among the single leading causes of death and DALYs lost worldwide. In 2010, 3 million people died of unintentional injuries. This about the same number of people who died of respiratory infections, more than the number of people died of HV/AIDS, diarrheal diseases. Unintentional injuries often lead to disability. Thus unintentional injuries represent 7% of deaths worldwide, 9% of DALYs lost

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Key Definitions

Injury - “the result of an act that damages, harms, or hurts; unintentional or intentional damage to the body resulting from acute exposure to thermal, mechanical, electrical, or chemical energy or from the absence of such essentials as heat or oxygen”

Unintentional injuries - “that subset of injuries for which there is no evidence of predetermined intent”

Let us learn some key words like unintentional injury and injury.

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The Burden of Unintentional Injuries

4.2% of total deaths in high-income countries occurred due to unintentional injuries. Versus 7.9% of total deaths in LAMI countries.

Percentage of deaths from unintentional injuries was almost twice as high in low- and middle-income countries as in high-income countries.

Deaths only represent part of the burden.

Significant differences between rates in males and females.

Variation among different regions.

Percentages of deaths from unintentional injuries was almost twice as high in low- and middle-income countries as in high-income countries. Males commonly suffer from unintentional injuries. About 2/3 of the deaths from unintentional injuries were among males. We also see variation in injuries by region. Sub-Saharan Africa shares a relatively low burden from unintentional injuries than other regions. Latin America and the Caribbean are relatively higher than in any other region, largely a reflection of the natural disasters on this region. Road traffic accidents are the largest cause of unintentional injuries in all regions.

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Children deaths by unintentional injuries

2,270 children die every day as a result of an unintentional injury.

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Distribution of global child injury deaths by cause

This table demonstrates death rates among children by cause.

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Road traffic injuries

Road traffic injuries are the leading cause of death among 10 to 19 year olds. More than 260,000 children and teenagers die from road traffic injuries each year. That is about 718 children per day. Approximately 10 million more are non-fatally injured.

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Risk Factors for Unintentional Injuries

Developmental immaturity relative to dangers present in environment.

Inability to provide adult supervision and child care.

Exposure to unsafe workplaces.

Poor motor safety practices.

The cost and consequences with unintentional injuries are considerable. The economic burden include direct costs including medical care, hospitalization, re -habilitation and funeral services and indirect cost including lost wages, sick leave, disability payments, and insurance payouts. Injuries represent a significant drain on personal and societal resources. The economic burden is rapidly increasing due to road traffic injuries in some countries. Costs including health care, administrative expense and vehicle and property damage are some additional cost making the burden heavier. Finally, there are psychosocial consequences such as pain, fatigue, memory loss, changes in work status; altered family dynamics all of which are significant impact able consequences of injuries.

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The Costs and Consequences of Injuries

Direct costs including medical care, hospitalization, rehabilitation and funeral services.

Indirect costs including lost wages, sick leave, disability payments, and insurance payouts.

Rapidly increasing economic burden due to road traffic injuries in some countries.

Psychosocial consequences such as pain, fatigue, memory loss, changes in work status, altered family dynamics.

Formal surveillance systems are fundamental to provide information on numbers and patterns of injury. Low income countries are lacking formal systems as high income countries but there should be some minimum standard for injury morbidity and mortality data. Interventions should be designed for individual communities. The theoretical approach for injury prevention and control is known as Haddon’s Matrix that demonstrate interaction of environment, vector, and host in an injury event. Finally, there should be comprehensive education, enforcement, and engineering efforts to reduce the high burden of injury.

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Addressing Key Injury Issues

Formal surveillance systems to provide information on numbers and patterns.

Interventions designed for individual communities.

Haddon’s Matrix to demonstrate interaction of environment, vector, and host.

Education, enforcement, and engineering efforts.

Low income countries should examine investing in low-cost, but effective ways of improving emergency medical services. This could be special vehicles for low-income or rural communities, or could make advance arrangements with owners of available transport. Community members who frequently come in contact with RTAs like truck drivers could be trained to provide first aid and transport to the injured. Countries also should began investing in training healthcare personnel who work in emergency situations.

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Emergency Medical Services

Low-cost, but effective ways of improving EMS:

Special vehicles for low-income or rural communities.

Advance arrangements with owners of available transport.

Training truck drivers to provide first aid and transport.

Training healthcare personnel who work in emergency situations.

Knowing the fact that there is very little data on injuries on low income countries, focusing additional attention on unintentional injuries is vital. Integrating lessons learned in high-income countries could be a starting point towards morbidity and mortality reduction form unintentional injuries. As low income countries become more motorized it will be valuable for them to engineer safety into newer roads construction. Insufficient attention has been given in educating public for injury prevention, so it will be worthy to Increase knowledge of injury prevention among general population.

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Future Challenges

Focusing additional attention on unintentional injuries in low- and middle-income countries.

Integrating lessons learned in high-income countries.

Engineering safety into newer roads.

Increasing knowledge of injury prevention.

Future challenges include:

Focusing additional attention on unintentional injuries in low- and middle-income countries

Integrating lessons learned in high-income countries

Engineering safety into newer roads and

Increasing knowledge of injury prevention

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