29 Jul Americans Dying From Preventable Deaths Reaches an All-Time High
Americans are dying at a record high from accidents such as drug overdoses and falls, according to the latest “Injury Facts” report by the National Safety Council (http://www.nsc.org). Preventable injuries claimed 136,053 lives in 2014, according to the report, up 15.2 percent in the last decade, and an increase of 57 percent since 1992. The accident rate has risen despite a 22 percent decrease in car crashes since 2005. The National Safety Council (NSC) reports that preventable deaths are now the fourth leading cause of death in the United States, behind heart disease, cancer, and chronic respiratory disease.
The number one accidental killer is now drug overdose and accidental poisonings, up 78 percent in the last decade. There were 6,000 more accidental deaths by overdose and poisonings, than in car crashes, with a total number of 42,032 people being killed during this time period. The number of deaths by falls has increased by 63 percent in the last ten years, an indicator of an aging population.
An American dies every four minutes from an accidental injury. If you count the people who don’t die, the rate of accidents occur every second, according to the council. “Losing someone every four minutes to an injury we know how to prevent is unacceptable,” said Deborah A.P. Hersman, president and CEO of the National Safety Council. “Eliminating preventable deaths is a lofty goal, but not impossible. We can be successful one company, one family and one life at a time. If we all work together to reduce harm, we will make our world a measurably safer place.”
The National Safety Council warns that preventable deaths and injuries are a constant at every age, and lists the leading causes throughout a person’s lifetime. These leading causes are:
- Younger than 1: Suffocation
- Ages 1 to 4: Drowning
- Ages 5 to 24: Motor Vehicle accidents
- Ages 25 to 64: Poisonings, largely from drug overdoses and prescription opioids
- Age 65 and older: Falls
Where you live increases your chances of having an accident that leads to death. Maryland, California, and New York have the lowest death rate due to accidents at around 30 per 100,000 people. West Virginia has the highest accidental death rate largely due to overdoses, of more than double the national average, at 75.2 per 100,000 people. Oklahoma has a death rate of 64.3 percent, followed by Montana at 61.4 per 100,000 people.
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