We’re partnering with the Town of East Fremantle to help residents stay on their feet

The Town of East Fremantle and Injury Matters are joining forces for a six month project to help combat falls amongst older adults living in the local government area. Falls are the leading cause of injury in the Town of East Fremantle, accounting for 463 hospitalisations and 7 fatalities between 2012 and 2016.

Continue reading “We’re partnering with the Town of East Fremantle to help residents stay on their feet”

New resource – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and injury

Know Injury has recently released a new resource regarding the incidence of injury among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

The resource outlines a number of statistics including that in WA Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are hospitalised due to injury 2.5 times more than non-Aboriginal people, with 10,165 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples hospitalised due to injury from July 2013 to June 2015.

Click here to access the new resource.

Injury Matters Submission to National Road Safety Strategy Inquiry 2011-2020

On 8 September the Australian Government announced an inquiry in to the national Road Safety Strategy 2011-2020.

Despite efforts to improve road safety and driver behaviour, road fatalities and critical injuries remain a serious problem in Western Australia. The physical impact as well as mental heath outcomes of individuals and communities affected by road crashes can be long lasting. Injury Matters provides much needed high quality mental health support services for people who have been affected by a road trauma through the Road Trauma Support WA service.

Injury Matters’ submission to the inquiry can be read here.

Hospitalisations due to farm injuries in Australia

A recent release by AIHW, Hospitalised farm injury, Australia: 2010-11 to 2014-15, highlights that there were 22,000 hospitalisations in Australia between 2010-11 and 2014-15 due to injuries which occurred on a farm.

Click here to view Know Injury’s blog about the report or access the full AIHW report today.

Closing the Gap 2018

Last week, Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull presented the annual Closing the Gap report. This marks 10 years that the framework has been in place and shows how the nation and individual states are progressing against seven targets. The latest data indicates that three of the seven targets are on track to be met. In Western Australia the targets of early childhood education and year 12 or equivalent attainment are on track.

National progress against targets:

  • Halve the gap in mortality rates for Indigenous children under five within a decade (by 2018) – On Track.
  • 95 per cent of all Indigenous four-year-olds enrolled in early childhood education (by 2025) – On Track.
  • Close the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous school attendance within five years (by 2018) – Not On Track.
  • Halve the gap for Indigenous children in reading, writing and numeracy within a decade (by 2018) – Not on Track.
  • Halve the gap for Indigenous Australians aged 20-24 in Year 12 attainment or equivalent attainment rates (by 2020) – On Track.
  • Halve the gap in employment outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians within a decade (by 2018) – Not on Track.
  • Close the gap in life expectancy between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians within a generation (by 2031) – Not on Track.

Improving the social determinants of health, such as education and employment will empower communities and improve injury outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. So progress across all targets is critical for improving the incidence and impact of injury among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander  communities. Of particular interest to readers though may be the domain of health.

  • Between the periods 2005-2007 and 2010-2012, there was a small reduction in the life expectancy gap of 0.8 years for males and 0.1 years for females.
  • Over the longer term, Indigenous mortality rates have declined significantly by 14 per cent since 1998. However, there has been no improvement since the 2006 baseline and the target is not on track to be met.

To read the full Closing the Gap report click here. To learn more about the social determinants of injury visit Know Injury.

 

Injury prevention programs showcased at awards ceremony

The 2017 Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion Awards have been announced with this year’s winners delivering programs that have helped prevent and raise awareness of injury prevention in WA.

The awards ceremony was held yesterday at the Parmelia Hilton in Perth.
This year’s winners were the Royal Life Saving Society WA, Curtin University School of Public Health, City of Bunbury and Shire of Dardanup in partnership with South West and Peel Local Governments, Northam Roadwise Committee and the School Drug Education Road Aware (SDERA).

The Remote Aboriginal Swimming Pools Program (RASP) managed by the Royal Life Saving Society WA, won their award for their program to reduce drowning and aquatic injury and other health related issues in Aboriginal communities.

Curtin University’s entry, a new study conducted by the School of Public Health estimates the incidence and cost of injury in Western Australia and will inform government and non-government programs, policies and services in the future.

The M8 the call can W8 campaign by the City of Bunbury and the Shire of Dardanup developed in 2014 aimed to educate and remind drivers that the use of mobile phones while driving was a major distraction.

The Northam Roadwise Committee developed an Easter campaign in response to the high rates of hospitalisation and deaths from road trauma in the Wheatbelt.

Working with over 120 schools across WA, SDERA’s Changing Health Acting Together (CHAT) provided education and intervention resources that aim to reduce harm from drug use and road-related injuries in young people.

Highly commended nominations were presented to Holyoake, Kidsafe WA, the Public Transport Authority and Royal Perth Hospital.

Injury Matters CEO Sandy Lukjanowski said the acknowledgement of these programs showcased the amazing work being performed by both large organisations and small community outreach groups.

“This year’s awards has attracted a high calibre of nominations, showing us the diverse range of injury prevention work taking place in the state,” she said.

“With the total cost of injury events costing our national economy nearly $10 billion a year, these programs and initiatives are highlighting a much needed area in WA health.”

The biennial awards ceremony, hosted by Injury Matters, started in 2002 to celebrate injury prevention and safety promotion in WA and recognise the action and excellence of those working to prevent injury and promote safety in Western Australia.

Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion Awards

The Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion Awards recognise the action and excellence of those working to prevent injury and promote safety in Western Australia.  The Awards Breakfast will showcase outstanding Western Australian initiatives and programs in health, not-for-profit organisations, community groups, universities and the government sector.

The Awards ceremony will be held on Thursday 23 November 2017 at the Parmelia Hilton in Perth, from 7.30am to 9.30am. Join us for breakfast and help us celebrate the success of the award winners.

Immediately following the Awards Breakfast will be the Injury Prevention Summit, from 10.00am-4.30pm.  The Summit will highlight current directions, trends and practice in injury prevention. Leaders in the field will discuss diversity in injury prevention, child injury, youth injury, older adult injury, road safety, suicide prevention, and alcohol-related harm and violence in a series of expert panel sessions.

Registrations open.

Report points to the need for injury prevention to become top health priority

The recent release of the Incidence and Costs of Injury in Western Australia 2012 report by the Chronic Disease Directorate Department of Health WA indicates that injuries remain one of the most serious public health problems in WA.

A briefing on the report was held on Tuesday March 28 at Grace Vaughan House in Shenton Park to provide key stakeholders with expert analysis of the impact of injury across WA, including health sector costs, long-term care costs, and the impact of injury on paid productivity and quality of life.

The Director, Chronic Disease Prevention Directorate, Public Health Division, Department of Health, Denise Sullivan lead the expert panel and was joined by Winthrop Professor Fiona Wood, Director of the Burns Service of WA and Burn Injury Research Unit of WA, and Dr Delia Hendrie, Senior Lecturer at the School of Public Health at Curtin University.

The report looks at the incidence of injuries across sociodemographic factors, regions, types of injuries and also at the impact of alcohol on injury.

It highlighted disproportionately high rates of injury across Aboriginal and regional populations.

Curtin University’s Dr Delia Hendrie said that there were many proven injury prevention measures currently being implemented across WA.

“Widely implementing them to reduce injuries would be very cost-effective and result in considerable cost savings to the community,” Dr Hendrie said.

The report identified falls as the most common category of unintentional injury across all age groups (costing $2.2 billion), except those in the 15-24 year old group who are most likely to be injured in a transport-related incidence.

Aboriginal people experienced emergency department visits and hospitalisations for injury at more than double the rate compared to non-Aboriginal people.

Alcohol related injuries were estimated to cost $1.9 billion. Alcohol was involved in 17.5% of injury fatalities and 32% of injury-related emergency department visits.

Those living in non-metropolitan areas, particularly the Kimberley, Wheatbelt and Goldfields regions experienced injury rates that were more than double those in the metropolitan areas.

The Injury Control Council of WA Acting Chief Executive, Sandy Lukjanowski, said the report highlighted the need for all levels of government to prioritise injury prevention to reduce the financial burden on the community.

“The high rates of injury for Aboriginal people and also for those in the regional areas reinforces the Injury Control Council of WA’s (ICCWA) renewed focus on injury prevention measures in both those areas and the need for further investment to address the over representation in injury data.”

The report cited evidence that injury is the fourth most common cause of death and the second highest  cause of potential years of life lost.

The Incidence and Cost of Injury in Western Australia 2012 reported approximately 227,000 injury events occurred, which is equivalent to 93 injury events per 1,000 persons in Western Australia. As a result, the associated costs of injury equated to $9.6 billion, with the mean costing of each injury event estimated to be $42,000.

Why alcohol consumption can increase your chance of falling

Alcohol consumption has been shown to increase the risk of falls in older adults.

However many people may not be aware of what safe alcohol consumption levels are as they age and that its effects can be amplified as a result of the natural ageing process.

Alcohol consumption is known to cause poor judgement, coordination problems and a lack of balance, increasing an individual’s falls risk.

The Fuel Your Body campaign, which runs until 30 April 2017, looks at ways of addressing these issues and aims to ensure older adults are well informed about the effects of alcohol consumption on the body.

The Stay On Your Feet® program aims to reduce the incidence of falls and falls-related injuries, which are the leading cause of hospitalisation of adults over the age of 65 in Australia and cost the WA Health System on average more than $100,000,000 each year.

Injury Prevention Manager, Rachel Meade, says the campaign has been designed to give older adults in the community basic information around food, alcohol and water consumption that are simple to follow, cost effective and age appropriate.

Accredited Practicing Dietician, Dr Christina Pollard, says limiting your alcohol intake as you age can help reduce the incidence of injuries due to slips, trips and falls as the result of impaired judgement, interference with balance and reduced reaction times due to the impact of alcohol on the body.

“Older people are more susceptible to the toxic effects of alcohol. This may be due to changes in their body composition, decreased metabolic capacity or other disease conditions and medications they use to manage them,” Dr Pollard says.

The Fuel Your Body campaign highlights the importance of drinking less alcohol, maintaining adequate hydration levels and eating a healthy, balanced diet to keep your brain and body healthy and has been developed using the latest evidence and input from expert dieticians in Western Australia.

Stay On Your Feet® is seeking to address these issues by promoting healthy behaviours that improve older Australians physical and mental wellbeing and to reinforce the benefits of preventing falls before they occur.

To find out more about safe levels of alcohol consumption and for further information and support contact Stay On Your Feet® on 1300 30 35 40 or visit www.stayonyourfeet.com.au