McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

National News

July 4, 2014

Avoidable injuries are killing too many young Americans

WASHINGTON — Not so cheerful news before your holiday weekend: Some sobering new government numbers show just how many young people die from injuries that could have been avoided.

In all, preventable injuries kill about 180,000 Americans each year, according to researcher from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's injury prevention unit. That includes such things as car crashes, drug overdoses, falls, assaults, suicide and drowning.

 Injuries in 2010 accounted for about 80 percent of deaths in people under 30 years old, a rate that CDC researchers called "alarming." Of those deaths, 60 percent were from unintentional injuries, and the remaining injury deaths were split almost evenly between suicide and homicide. Chronic diseases accounted for about about 20 percent of deaths for people under 30.

Among the entire population, the rate of deaths stemming from unintentional injuries was slightly higher, at 67 percent. Motor-vehicle crashes in 2010 topped the list (33,687 deaths), followed by poisoning (33,041), falls (26,009), suffocation (6,165), drowning (3,782) and fires (2,845). Meanwhile, about 38,000 people died from drug overdoses.

There's another story to be told about people who live after suffering avoidable injuries that brought them into the hospital. More than 31.2 million unintentional and violence-related injuries happened in 2010, which the CDC says costs $513 billion in medical care and in lost productivity across the victims' life spans. And that says nothing of the legal costs, costs related to other health problems and injuries not treated.

The researchers, who write about their findings in The Lancet, seem clearly frustrated with the attitude that "accidents happen" as a reason to dismiss interventions that could potentially lower the rate of injuries. They write:

               

Representatives in public health have struggled to change this perception in some key stakeholders such as policymakers and even health professionals. When the need for injury prevention is recognised by individuals in health systems, training, time, and skill are often insufficient to enable a suitable response.

               

Researchers say there's plenty that could be done to save lives, including those identified by the Community Preventive Services Task Force. But there are factors that stand in the way of progress - social, economic, clinical, limited resources and so on. Some interventions seem simple enough to convey, such as encouraging more people to buckle their seatbelts. Others, such as reducing violence in our poorer neighborhoods, present a much more complex challenge.

 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
National News
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
NDN Video
Famous Internet Cats Help Big Cause With Viral Video Raw: Obama Gets Hug From Special Olympian Snoop Dogg Narrating Animal Footage Is Perfect Tigers Acquire David Price - @TheBuzzeronFOX Russell Brand Slams Sean Hannity Over Gaza Conflict Segment Chapter Two: Composing for a film in retirement Woman's Dive Goes Terribly Wrong Brian Williams Reports on Daughter Allison Williams' 'Peter Pan' Casting News Did Jimmy Fallon Look Up Heidi Klum's Dress? What Drama? Miranda Kerr Poses Topless Plane crashes in San Diego Costco parking lot Justin Bieber Takes To Instagram To Diss Orlando Bloom You Won't Believe the Celeb Cameos in "Sharknado 2" Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX Orlando Bloom 'Takes a Swing' at Justin Bieber In Ibiza Sadie Doesn't Want Her Brother to Grow Up "Maxim" Hotness! See Jessica Alba's Sizzling Spread Two women barely avoid being hit by train Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber Reportedly Came To Blows In Ibiza
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.