In 1991, Dallas was facing a crisis. Injuries and trauma-related deaths had increased by 38% over previous years. Trauma-related injuries were growing at such a rate that by 1995, the number of trauma patients would eventually exceed the capacity of Dallas area hospitals to treat them.
Something had to be done – but not the same things that had always been done.
In 1992, more than 100 area health, government and business leaders examined the issue and developed a unique plan to address the problem. In 1994, the Injury Prevention Center of Greater Dallas (IPC) was established as part of that plan. Why did these visionary leaders choose to invest in prevention? Because prevention works and saves money.
Like other public health problems, injury is a problem that can be diminished considerably if adequate attention and support are directed to it. Epidemiologists and health professionals have successfully applied a public health model to the eradication or amelioration of a variety of plagues. C. Everett Koop, during his tenure as U.S. Surgeon General, identified injury, particularly childhood injury, as “the last great plague of the 20th Century.”
Many people don’t realize it, but the numbers show that injuries are the leading cause of death for children and young adults through the first four decades of life. Each year, more than 29.5 million people are treated for injuries in an emergency room and more than 150,000 die. Hospital emergency departments treat an average of 55 people for injuries every minute. An average of 33 children die every day because of preventable injuries.
Injury treatment is the leading cause of medical spending for children. The estimated annual cost of unintentional child injuries in the United States is nearly $300 billion. It’s important to take action, because most injuries can be prevented. We’re taking action in Dallas.
We want Dallas to be a city where people have the freedom to live to their full potential. To be able to live to our full potential, we must have safe places to live, work and play where we can enjoy every aspect of our lives without worrying about violence and injury. The Injury Prevention Center of Greater Dallas (IPC) assists our citizens achieve that full potential by helping them avoid injuries that could lead to a lifetime of physical and emotional disabilities. The IPC implements proven programs that use the science of injury prevention to reduce the risk of violence, injury and their associated consequences. Not only does investing in prevention save lives and decrease pain and suffering due to injuries, but it also saves money. The estimated economic return on investment is substantial when evidence-based injury prevention strategies are implemented.By joining forces with businesses, government, police and fire departments, school districts, faith-based organizations, and others, we can help people live fulfilling lives, free from injury and harm.