Did you know that millions of people go to hospital emergency rooms each year for preventable injuries? And that, unfortunately, some of these injuries cause the death of millions of other people in the country?
For many years, the National Safety Council (NSC) has conducted various studies and investigations to generate statistics on these types of injuries and related deaths. In 2018 alone, a total of 24.8 million people went to a doctor’s office to receive treatment for a preventable injury; and about 97.9 million had to go to an emergency room.
Although there are many reasons for these injuries, the top three “accidents” that can lead to death or significant injury are falls, traffic accidents, and poisoning. These represent more than 83% of all preventable deaths; on the contrary, the other causes found, such as drowning, fires, burns, suffocation, and natural disasters, among others, only represent 5%.
The NSC believes that, with everyone’s help, this number of preventable deaths and injuries can be decreased and that there is a long way to go to make that happen. In the United States, preventable injuries are the third leading cause of death after heart disease and cancer.
What does the term preventable injuries refer to, then? Preventable or unintended injuries, as they are also known, refer to those that were not planned or intentional and that could have been avoided if the corresponding safety precautions had been taken. Let’s look at the three main causes:
- Car accidents. If all drivers drove responsibly, properly, and in compliance with all traffic rules, many accidents could be avoided. Every day in the United States, motor vehicle crashes cause about 100 deaths. And if we consider that most of these collisions are due to human error, imagine how many people could be saved.
- Poisoning. Poisoning refers to any poisoning by drugs, medications, gases, vapors, and other substances that can be solid or liquid. This does not include illnesses that are caused by spoiled food, such as salmonella or hepatitis.
- Falls: Everyone can suffer from a fall, especially if we are not careful, but in particular, older people are most likely to be at health risk due to a fall.
Remember, taking preventative measures and being cautious could save your life and the lives of others.