A report released by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services shows injury rates across the state by public health jurisdiction. South Heartland District Health Department has reviewed their local results compared to other health districts and to the statewide results.
“The Injury Report for 1999-2003 shows us that each year more than 40 South Heartland residents die and more than 3200 seek treatment at hospitals because of injuries,” said Dr. Michele Bever, Executive Director of South Heartland District Health Department. “This report helps us identify what types of injuries are most common and which age groups are most affected. This helps us to plan injury prevention programs that are focused to the specific needs of our area.” South Heartland Health District covers Adams, Clay, Nuckolls and Webster counties.
Injuries are the 4th leading cause of death among residents of South Heartland District, behind heart disease, cancer and stroke. Overall, motor vehicle crashes were the leading cause of injury deaths. Suicide was second, followed by falls. Injuries are the leading cause of death among youth and young adults, with more than half of these due to motor vehicle crashes. Most of the deaths due to falls are among persons age 85 years and older.
Falls were the leading cause of injury-related hospital treatments in South Heartland, including inpatient and outpatient visits. Injuries caused by being struck by or against an object were second, followed by motor vehicle crashes.
South Heartland’s local injury rates are higher than the Healthy People 2010 goals for Nebraska, which indicates there is room for improvement in reducing deaths and hospitalizations due to injuries. “This report helps us to recognize that injury is a major public health concern in the South Heartland Health District,” said Dr. Bever.