According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) from the US Department of Health and Human Services every year 214,000 people die because of injuries caused by acts of violence, 1 person every 3 minutes. However, every year millions of people survive acts of violence but still have to address mental, physical and economic problems. In 2013 there were 30.8 million injuries, in 2015 there were approximately 30.4 million, and because of these 2.8 people were hospitalised and 27.6 million were treated in emergency rooms. In 2016 32 million people were injured. It must be borne in mind that such injuries generate fairly high economic costs in the USA, amounting to 671 billion dollars in 2013.
If we break down the total number of injuries, we can see, according to 2016 data that the classification is the following: unintended injuries and violence. Primarily:
- Over 33,700 people died in traffic accidents.
- Over 14,800 people died due to prescribed opioids.
- 2,791,000 elderly people are treated in emergency rooms because of falls every year.
- 325,000 children are treated in emergency rooms because of sports-related concussion.
On the other hand, violence-related figures are the following:
- 1 out of every 7 children has suffered abuse or neglect.
- Every minute there are 20 people are victims of violence inflicted by their partners.
- 1 out of every 2 women will suffer sexual violence during their lifetime.
- 1 out of every 5 men will suffer sexual violence during their lifetime.
What can be done to improve these figures? According to the CDC, they have been working on injury and violence prevention for 20 years. This centre is considered to be the USA’s number one prevention authority. The four competences to be stressed are:
- Identify and monitor problems by using latest generation data.
- Do research and understand what type of work is necessary for prevention purposes.
- Support state-level prevention programmes.
- Work together with healthcare personnel, healthcare suppliers, legislators and the public to implement prevention solutions.
Moreover, the centre publishes a series of improvements to be able to facilitate the prevention of injuries and violence in different areas:
- In traffic accidents there should be a bigger campaign related to the use of seatbelts, child seats and elevators.
- Use more information when prescribing medication.
- To avoid sports-related injuries affecting children, it would be necessary to promote a safety-oriented culture where young people can inform about their malaise, symptoms and provide resources for coaches and parents.
- Ensure that children have safe and stable environments and relationships.
- To avoid falls that affect the elderly a prevention routine should be applied by healthcare authorities; monitoring patients, treatment and counselling.
- Finally, in order to reduce sexual violence more respectful relationships must be promoted, reinforcing the figure of the woman and girl and creating safer environments for all.
Links of interest: