Youth and injury prevention

Today’s blog was inspired by a tragedy on our local railway earlier this week. Unfortunately a man was killed after being run over by a train while he was spraying graffiti. Unfortunately this is not the first such death, and it prompted me to trawl PubMed and ‘see what is out there’.

Researchers, practitioners and policy-makers alike a probably well aware that injury is the leading cause of death for adolescents the world over. A search of PubMed using the terms “graffiti” and “injury prevention” did not yield any articles. However, I came across a pertinent article in the most recent Journal of Trauma Nursing in which Ogilvie, Curtis, Lam, McCloughen, and Foster summarise mortality after major traumatic injury for youth aged 16 to 24 years in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) during the period July 2007 to June 2012. Cases were extracted from the National Coroners Information System and the ACT Level 1 Trauma Centre registry, and 714 cases met the inclusion criteria.

Road trauma was the most common injury mechanism  (58.4% of cases); with self-inflicted violence accounting for 45.8% of the overall ‘violence’ category. High-risk recreation activities also featured, with the Authors recommending “targeting young people involved in multiple risk behaviors”. This is consistent with the approach for which I regularly advocate, and one which is required if we are going to address the senseless loss of young men as they embark on a potentially-lethal activity like spraying graffiti on and around trains.





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