Trauma (an intended or unintended wound/injury inflicted on the body from a means against the human body could not possibly guard itself ) is considered the fourth leading cause of injury and death in North America. Moreover, trauma is also the leading cause of disability and death in young children and adults below 40 years of age. One of the most common associated precipitating factors leading to morbid deaths due to traumatic injuries include drug abuse and alcohol intoxication.
Any discussion of trauma management and care must always include several
important insights regarding injury prevention. One of the most vital components of the emergency personnel’s daily role and responsibilities is to provide safety to every individual who is the target for care as well as other individuals admitted for reasons other than the obvious injury.
The only possible way to substantially decrease the incidence of further trauma is to greatly reduce the precipitating factors of the cause of injury in the first place. With proper dissemination of injury prevention information almost everyone can greatly benefit from it. Utilizing the information after leaving the emergency department or medical institution is the patient’s responsibility. However, proper giving out of safety precautions and simple evaluation should be provided by any member of the health care team to make sure the information is understood.
The key in lessening the incidence of trauma and saving many lives as possible is injury prevention. Members of any medical institution especially the emergency department and mobile paramedic personnel should be the proper observance of injury prevention in the workplace.
Three Components of Injury prevention
There are three components of injury prevention. The first one is education. By providing adequate information and resource materials such as leaflets and posters can greatly help in minimizing violence and maintain safety in the home and in vehicles. Every care provider should be proactive in promoting wellness and safety by actively participating in local injury prevention organizations and acting as advocates in the health, safety and wellness of the general public. In practice, pioneering leaders in health are currently avoiding the term “accidents” mainly because, traumatic events can be preventable with proper knowledge.
Accountability and responsibility should be assigned to traumatic incidents mainly because of the increasing rate of repeated trauma. Therefore, individuals who are at high risk or repetitive trauma should be identified and given proper education and counseling towards modifying risky behaviors to prevent further repeated trauma from occurring.
The second important component of injury prevention is legislation. Health care providers should be actively engaged and be proactive in advocating safety legislation at their local health care facility and if possible in their respective towns, cities and states. Such legislation is meant to provide universal safety precautions while not infringing personal rights of the public.
The third component in injury prevention is automatic protective measures. Examples of such mechanisms include; airbags and seat belts in vehicles and house alarms wherein these devices provide safety and prevention of violence and injury without solely requiring personal intervention.
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