Bmj Usa: Editor's Choice


BMJ 2003; 327 doi: (Published 19 November 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;327:E122

From BMJ USA 2002;July:361

Some find it awkward to think of injuries as a medical concern. It is, so the thinking goes, a concern for transportation and consumer product safety officials, but not for clinicians trained in calculating anion gaps and palpating spleens. Trauma and emergency department physicians would disagree.

If the goal of medicine is to promote health and survival, then the relevance of injuries is inescapable. Injuries threaten our patients on a more sweeping scale than the diseases that attract our attention. Diabetes, pneumonia, and sepsis, for example, each claim fewer lives than do injuries. In 1999 injuries killed more than 97 000 Americans, making them …

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