BATON ROUGE, LA - Each year, nearly 150,000 people nationwide die from injuries, most of which occur through preventable accidents at home, while playing or on the road. Injuries are the leading cause of deaths and lifelong disabilities among people 44 and younger in Louisiana and in the United States. In recognition of National Public Health Week, April 4-10, the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals urges Louisianians to take action to prevent injuries and violence and reduce their risks. This year's theme is "Safety is No Accident: Live Injury Free," and Louisiana public health officials are raising awareness of injuries and emphasizing preventive steps.
In 2008, injuries killed 3,502 people and sent 18, 955 people to the hospital in Louisiana. Motor vehicle crashes and poisoning were the leading causes of injury-related deaths. Falls and motor vehicle crashes were the leading cause of injury-related hospitalizations. "We can't afford to ignore the impact injuries have on the health of the people of our state," said Assistant Secretary for Public Health, Clayton Williams. "Many injuries are preventable.