Injury prevention in people with disabilities

BMJ 2001; 322 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.322.7292.940 (Published 21 April 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;322:940

Risks can be minimised without unduly restricting activities

  1. Samuel N Forjuoh, associate professor and director of research,
  2. Bernard Guyer, professor and chair
  1. Department of Family and Community Medicine, Scott and White Memorial Hospital and Foundation, Texas A&M University System HSC College of Medicine 1402 West Avenue H, Temple, TX 75604, USA
  2. Department of Population and Family Health Sciences, Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health, 615 N Wolfe Street, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA

    Clinical review p 975

    Some risk of injury exists for almost every human activity, and this risk may be increased for people with impairments, disabilities, or other special healthcare needs. The mechanism of injury is insensitive to the presence or type of disability, whether the injury involves transfer of excessive kinetic energy to the body, as in physical trauma, or deprivation of an essential element such as oxygen, as in submersion. However, the additional risk associated with the underlying condition changes the dynamics of the injury process. Epidemiological studies have, for example, found that people with epilepsy have a greater risk of drowning and burns than those without the disease13 and that individuals with a sensory deficit are at greater risk of pedestrian injury.4 Besag's description in this week's BMJ of the death by drowning of a 14 year old boy who suffered from tonic seizures (p 975)5 raises questions about injury prevention strategies in an area where there is not much evidence. …

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