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Violence and Injury

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  1. Definitions
  2. Epidemiology
  3. Secular Trends in Injuries
  4. Ways to Reduce Injury
  5. Implications for Medical Practice
  6. Recommendations
  7. Bilbiography

Serious violence and injury have life-altering consequences for victims and their families that often cannot be reversed. Prevention and treatment must be priorities. Violence in the United States is a public health epidemic that is caused by institutional and personal actions. The root causes of violence include inequitable social and economic conditions. Personal violence is the intentional use of physical or psychological force against another person or against oneself that may result in injury or death. An injury is damage to tissue usually caused by excessive energy transfer.

[...] Ways to Reduce Injury FIRE AND BURN INJURIES BEHAVIORS. Install and maintain smoke detectors or residential sprinklers; reduce the temperature settings in residential hot water heaters to 125 F. POLICIES. Establish mandatory flammability performance standards for cigarettes to prevent furniture ignition. Ways to Reduce Injury DROWNING BEHAVIORS. Wear flotation devices while boating. POLICIES. Require four-sided isolation fences with self-latching gates on all residential pools. Ways to Reduce Injury FALLS BEHAVIORS. Develop and/or maintain flexibility and agility among elders; improve lighting and install handgrip devices in the home; install guards on balconies and windows in high-rise buildings. [...]

[...] Advocate for public policy solutions to the violence and injury problem. Physicians have played a leadership role in injury control in such diverse areas as traffic safety, burns from tap water and clothing ignition, and firearms policy. Today's injury problems call for augmented medical leadership in policy areas. Implications for Medical Practice Legislators and journalists turn to physicians for information about disease and injury because physicians have daily contact with sick and injured people and can speak from personal experience about the problem. [...]

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