FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Connecticut Department of Public Health
April 4, 2011 Contact: William Gerrish
Hartford – The potential for injury is all around us. It only takes a moment for an injury to happen – a fall on a stair, a moment’s glance away from the road, a biking or sports-related injury, a medication mix-up. But it also takes just a moment to protect against injuries and make communities safer. That’s why public health officials throughout the state and the nation are calling attention to the significant toll injuries place on our health.
Every year, about 1,600 Connecticut residents die from injuries. In fact, injuries are the leading cause of death in our state for residents between the ages of 1 and 44 years of age and the 5th leading cause for all ages. Injuries are also responsible for approximately 18,800 inpatient hospital stays and 377,500 emergency room visits each year in Connecticut.
“Chances are good that you or someone you know are among these statistics – a friend who suffered a fatal injury from a car crash, an older family member who broke a hip during a fall or a co-worker harmed on the job site,” stated DPH Commissioner Dr. Jewel Mullen. “Many of these injuries could have been prevented.”
According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost 30% of the potential years of life lost in Connecticut are because of injuries that could have been prevented. What’s more, in Connecticut, hospitalizations due to injuries result in over $500 million in direct hospital costs each year. These costs do not include the costs associated with long-term care, rehabilitation, or for injuries treated in emergency departments, doctor’s offices or other locations.
“These statistics illustrate a real and growing public health concern,” said Dr. Mullen. “Fortunately, we know that many injuries can be prevented. Seat belts, properly installed and used child safety seats, and bicycle and motorcycle helmets can prevent or reduce the severity of motor vehicle crash injuries.”
During National Public Health Week, April 4-10, 2011, the Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) is focusing attention on preventing injuries, a leading cause of death, and disability in Connecticut.
Public health agencies are planning a number of events and activities during the week to call attention to injury prevention. In addition, each day during the week, DPH will release a fact sheet on leading causes of death and disability related to injuries:
Monday: Motor Vehicle Crashes
Wednesday: Drug and Alcohol-Related Poisoning
Thursday: Sports and Recreation-Related Injuries
Friday: Falls and Older Adults
The Department of Public Health offers a number of programs that work to reduce the impact of injuries on the health of Connecticut residents, including the DPH Injury Prevention Program, which analyzes injury data, provides information and works with a variety of public and private partners on reducing and preventing injuries.
For more information, please visit www.ct.gov/dph
The Connecticut Department of Public Health is the state’s leader in public health policy and advocacy with a mission to protect and promote the health and safety of the people of our state. To contact the department, please visit its website at www.ct.gov/dph or call (860) 509-7270.