An injury is a general term that can be a result of damage to the body caused by accidents, falls, fights, weapons, and more. In the U.S., millions of people injure themselves every year. These injuries range from minor to life-threatening. Injuries can happen at work or play, indoors or outdoors, driving a car, or walking across the street. Wounds are injuries that break the skin or other body tissues. They include cuts, scrapes, scratches, and punctured skin. They often happen because of an accident, but surgery, sutures, and stitches also cause wounds. Minor wounds usually aren't serious, but it is important to clean them. Serious and infected wounds may require first aid followed by a visit to your doctor. You should also seek attention if the wound is deep, you cannot close it yourself, you cannot stop the bleeding or get the dirt out, or it does not heal.
Other common types of injuries include
- Animal bites
- Electrical injuries
- Sprains and strains
- Head injury
head injuries can be severe, such as a skull fracture, concussion, or traumatic brain injury. Head injuries can be open or closed. A closed injury does not break through the skull. With an open, or penetrating, injury, an object pierces the skull and enters the brain. Closed injuries are not always less severe than open injuries. Some common causes of head injuries are falls, motor vehicle accidents, violence, and sports injuries.
It is important to know the warning signs of a moderate or severe head injury. Get help immediately if the injured person has
- A headache that gets worse or does not go away
- Repeated vomiting or nausea
- Convulsions or seizures
- An inability to wake up
- Dilated (enlarged) pupil in one or both eyes
- Slurred speech
- Weakness or numbness in the arms or legs
- Loss of coordination
- Increased confusion, restlessness, or agitation
Cost of Injuries
The total estimated lifetime medical and work loss costs associated with fatal and non-fatal injuries in the United States was $671 billion in 2013, according to two Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports (MMWR), according to the data from CDC. The costs associated with fatal injuries was $214 billion while nonfatal injuries accounted for over $456 billion, more than twice as much as the costs associated with fatal injuries. More than 3 million people are hospitalized, 27 million people are treated in emergency departments and released, and over 192,000 die as a result of violence and unintentional injuries each year.