EMS surveillance to determine trends in intentional injury
Background/Purpose: In the U.S., injury is a leading cause of death for 1-44 year olds. In 2009, intentional injuries alone accounted for approximately 53,000 deaths, 243,000 hospitalizations, and 1.5 million ED discharges. Over ten years ago, a real-time EMS surveillance system was developed in a large metropolitan area to monitor flu outbreaks. However, it expanded to surveillance of additional health issues, such as injuries. The purpose of this study is to determine local trends in intentional injury compared to other geographic areas. Methods: Daily prehospital data was collected using a real-time electronic system. Data was analyzed for intentional injury cases and included mechanism of injury/Ecodes, patient demographics, outcomes, and diagnosis. Results/Outcomes: Although some years decreased, the overall number of injuries has increased during the past decade. From 2010-2012, there was a 25% increase in injuries. Results for intentional injuries are comparable. After a steady increase between 2004 and 2009, suicides/self-inflicted injuries decreased by 27% from 2009 to 2010. Since 2010, that has increased by 35%. Similarly, homicides/assault injuries decreased by 9% between 2009 and 2010 and increased by 24% between 2010 and 2012.The patient profile of both has remained relatively the same. Victims are most likely male and are 25-34 years old. Conclusions: The increased number of and attention to intentional injury events has underscored the need for collaboration of all Public Health and Safety entities. EMS surveillance can contribute such findings that facilitate the reduction of intentional injuries.
Other professions or practice related to public health
Public health or related research
Identify recent trends for overall injuries, suicides/self-inflicted injuries, and homicides/assault injuries.
Describe how EMS surveillance can contribute to the reduction of injuries.
Keyword(s): Injury, EMS/Trauma
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Epidemiologist that created and has maintained the EMS surveillance system for over 12 years.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines,
and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed
in my presentation.