Injury Prevention and Trauma Care
Each year, 10% of deaths worldwide are the result of injuries and violence, amounting to more than 5.8 million people. However, this global epidemic is poorly recognised, with weak investment in effective preventative programmes and patchy provision of accessible and appropriate care for those affected.
In this context, the UK Injury Programme is committed to understanding the burden and risks factors of unintentional injury and trauma across high-income, and low- and middle-income, countries. The nature of injury is far broader than might immediately be seen, with the majority of the burden attributable to road traffic trauma, suicide, falls, drowning, burns and interpersonal violence.
The programme, then, focuses on the root causes of this epidemic in order to identify, trial, and recommend cost-effective initiatives to avoid deaths through prevention, policy influence, and the evaluation and scale up of proven programmes that work in diverse contexts.
Researchers also focus on outlining an evidence-based vision for the best response and care in instances where unintentional injuries and trauma do result. The ‘accidental’ and intractable statistics are a component of this burden and must be addressed, particularly in resource-poor settings where appropriate treatment is often lacking, or significantly impacts the wellbeing (financial and health-related) of the patient and their immediate family.
Person-centric care and research is at the core of the team’s work in recognition that injury and violence can affect us all, wherever and however we live, often when least expected. In such times, there is a need for robust mechanisms of care that are responsive to deaths, policy change and shifting environments, with the objective of avoiding future fatalities and life-affecting events.
This research programme at The George Institute for Global Health was also designated a WHO Collaborating Centre on Injury Prevention and Trauma Care in November 2018. Through this avenue, and via active participation in networks such as the Road Traffic Injuries Research Network, the International Road Victims Association, the Child Health Initiative, the Commonwealth Road Safety Initiative, the UK Rescue Organization, the Eastern Alliance for Safe and Sustainable Transport and the Association for Safe International Road Travel, the team are at the forefront of partnerships that drive sustainable change through capacity-building and knowledge exchange.