Injuries account for about one-fourth of emergency department (ED) visits and they are the most common cause of death for Americans ages 1 to 44.1 Because injuries disproportionately affect the young, they account for more years of potential life lost before age 65 than all causes of cancer and heart disease combined.
Epidemiological research shows that injuries, like diseases, tend to affect identifiable groups, follow an often predictable chain of events, and therefore are preventable. After an injury occurs, morbidity can be minimized by providing optimal acute care and subsequent rehabilitation. This combination of strategies—prevention, acute care, and rehabilitation—is called injury control.
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