When the story changes…

 

These headlines above represent patterns that are just a small fraction of all that appear in our media everyday; they are headlines of events that resulted in injury and injury-related death that were predictable and preventable.

Each one of these events resulted in high direct costs to the health care system and indirect costs to the individual, family, and community. Let’s reflect on these situations. Health care costs include sending paramedics to the scene, the ambulance to the hospital, acute hospital treatment followed by rehabilitation. Some injuries may require a number of surgeries. The patient may be transported by air or ambulance to a trauma centre or a centre with a specialty such as toxicology. Family may need to take time off work and pay for accommodation close to the treatment centre, thus leaving the rest of the family in the care of others. If additional treatment is needed over the years, the family may need to take more time off work, pay for food and accommodation, and pay for caregiving for the rest of the family.  These are only some of the immediate repercussions of injuries and death, but there are many others that cannot be quantified, such as emotional trauma, permanent partial or full disability, altered career implications, dramatic changes in future roles in family and society, loss of independent living and the necessity for institutional care.  Table 2 shows a list of potential costs:

Evidence-Informed Practices 

Reducing injuries by just 20% WOULD SAVE OVER $1.7 BILLION AND MORE THAN 1,100 LIVES IN ONE YEAR.

The following case studies are examples of promising practices.

While these case studies represent a good start, they are not enough on their own.  Efforts like these need to be considered, implemented, expanded and sustained.  For full text on these cases see Appendix 1.

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Updated December 7, 2017