In the United States, injuries are the leading cause of death in persons younger than 44 years and the leading cause of life-years lost because of premature death.1 For each injury death, 19 other injured persons are hospitalized (National Center for Health Statistics, unpublished data, 1991) and 354 receive medical care.2 Each year injuries affect one in four US citizens,2 accounting for almost 10% of all physician office visits3 and 35% of emergency department visits.4 The lifetime cost of injuries in 1990 was estimated at $215 billion, including costs related to acute care, lost wages and productivity, and disability.5 These economic costs are only one aspect of the consequences of injury. Persons injured often suffer physical pain and mental and emotional anguish beyond any kind of compensation.
See also pp 1506 and 1535.
Despite these astounding statistics, relatively few physicians recognize that injury is
Martinez R. Injury PreventionA New Perspective. JAMA. 1994;272(19):1541-1542. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03520190087041