DefinitionThe number of unintentional injuries among Utah residents per 10,000 persons as reported in hospitalization records.
NumeratorNumber of unintentional injuries reported in hospitalization records among Utah residents.
DenominatorTotal population of Utah.
Data Interpretation IssuesThe hospital and emergency department data were created for use in billing and remittance of payment, not for public health surveillance. Therefore, the data are weak in some areas, such as external cause of injury and race or ethnicity.
Why Is This Important?Since 1992, there have been approximately 8,120 unintentional injury hospitalizations of Utah residents each year. Injuries do not happen by chance and the events leading up to injuries are not random. Choosing safe behaviors, using safety equipment, and obeying safety laws can prevent most unintentional injuries. The top 3 leading causes of unintentional injury hospitalizations in 2006 in Utah were falls, motor vehicle crashes, and poisoning.
Other ObjectivesViolence and Injury Prevention Program, Utah Department of Health:
By 2010, reduce hospitalizations due to falls among Utah residents 65 years of age and older to 1,200 per 100,000.
By 2010, reduce deaths caused by unintentional injuries to no more than 27.9 per 100,000 Utah residents.
By 2010, increase bicycle helmet use among elementary school-age children in Utah to 25 percent.
By 2010, increase the use of vehicle safety restraints among child occupants 8 and under in Utah to at least 75 percent.
By 2010, reduce pedestrian deaths on public roads caused by motor vehicles to no more than 1 per 100,000 Utah residents each year.
How Are We Doing?Data indicate the number of unintentional injury hospitalizations has fluctuated around the 15-year average of 36.81 injuries per 10,000 population in Utah. The lowest rate was seen in 1993, with a rate of 34.03 injuries per 10,000 population; the highest was in 1997 at 38.45 per 10,000 population. The most recent rate available is for 2006, at 36.39 per 10,000 population.
What Is Being Done?The UDOH Violence and Injury Prevention Program (VIPP) provides funding, training, and technical assistance to local health departments to conduct education programs on the following topics: child safety seats, seat belt use, pedestrian safety, bicycle safety, DUI prevention, ATV and off-road safety, fire prevention, safe firearm storage, and drowning prevention. In addition, VIPP promotes bicycle and pedestrian safety by distributing free and low-cost bicycle and ski helmets and providing bike and pedestrian safety information. VIPP is the lead organization for Utah Safe Kids, a coalition working to prevent childhood injury. To help reduce fall-related hospitalizations and deaths, VIPP is working with local health departments and other partners to promote health, home safety, and fall prevention programs for older adults.
Health Program InformationThe mission of the UDOH Violence and Injury Prevention Program (VIPP) is to promote the health of Utah citizens by working to reduce the incidence and severity of injuries and resultant deaths. Goals are to a) focus prevention efforts on reducing intentional and unintentional injury, b) conduct education aimed at increasing awareness and changing behaviors that contribute to the occurrence of injury, c) strengthen local health department capacity to conduct local injury prevention programs, d) promote legislation, policy changes, and enforcement that will reduce injury hazards and increase safe behaviors, e) collaborate with private and public partners, and f) improve the Utah Department of Health capacity to collect mortality and morbidity data from multiple sources and conduct injury epidemiology for use in prevention planning, implementation, and evaluation.