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According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every year 900,000 Americans die prematurely from the five leading causes of death. But, a recent study conducted by the CDC has found that up to 40 percent of these deaths could actually be prevented.

In the United States, the five leading causes of death are unintentional injuries, heart disease, cancer, chronic lower respiratory diseases and strokes. These five causes of death contributed to 63 percent of all U.S. deaths back in 2010. The CDC’s new report was published in their weekly journal, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The study looked at premature deaths before age 80 for each cause in each state. The study found that if all states had the lowest death rate observed for each cause of death, it could be possible to prevent:

  • 39 percent of premature deaths from unintentional injuries, which would prolong approximately 39,000 lives.
  • 21 percent of premature cancer deaths, prolonging approximately 84,500 lives
  • 39 percent of premature deaths from chronic lower respiratory diseases, prolonging about 29,000 lives
  • 33 percent of premature stroke deaths, prolonging about 17,000 lives

The CDC says it is important to note that the statistics of preventable deaths from each cause cannot be added together to get an overall total. This is because the prevention of some premature deaths may put people at risk for different causes of death. For example, an individual who avoids premature death from cancer may still die early from another preventable cause, such as an unintentional injury.

Death from unintentional injury can be caused by any of the following risks:

  • Lack of or improper seatbelt use
  • Lack of motorcycle helmet use
  • Defective or unsafe consumer products
  • Dangerous home and community environments
  • Exposure to occupational hazards

To further break it down, The National Center for Health Statistics says the top three causes of fatal unintentional injuries in the United States include:

  • Motor vehicle crashes (41.8 percent)
  • Unintentional falls (14.8 percent)
  • Poisoning (13.9 percent)

Unintentional Injury Prevention in Illinois

The CDC hopes this new injury report can help each state, including Illinois, set goals for preventing premature death from the causes that are responsible for the majority of deaths in the United States each year.

According to a 2011 report by the National Safety Council, unintentional injury deaths are ranked first among people ages 1 to 44 years old. Many of the leading causes of unintentional death are avoidable by making changes in personal behaviors. Others are due to inconsistencies relating to the social, demographic, environmental, economic and geographic attributes of the neighborhoods in which people live and work. Unintentional injuries are also a major cause of emergency department visits, hospitalizations and permanent disabilities.

Unintentional injury prevention starts at home. It is important to make sure that your home environment is equipped with functional smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, proper electrical work and covered electric outlets.

It is also crucial to regularly check your hot water heater to make sure it is not above 120 degrees. If you have small children in your home you should store all cleaning supplies, chemicals and prescription and over-the-counter medications out of their reach. Additionally, in the rare event that there is a fire or other emergency in your home it is beneficial and possibly life saving to have an emergency plan in place, including an exit route and safe family meeting spot.

Unintentional Illinois Work Injuries

On the job it is important that you and your co-workers not only understand, but also follow workplace safety regulations at all times. These regulations are in place for good reason and can potentially save lives. Some common workplace regulations and safety measures include: practicing regular fire drills, wearing protective equipment and using caution when lifting heavy objects or operating heavy machinery.

Many office environments have also recently developed emergency action plans in the event that there is an armed intruder, bomb threat or other dangerous situation. As an employee, you should also be aware of the procedures for recognizing and reporting any hazardous work conditions or practices so they can be addressed and resolved.

Illinois Motor Vehicle Safety

Whenever you are traveling in a motor vehicle, whether you are the passenger or driver you should wear your seatbelts at all times. Small children should be properly secured in car seats or booster seats based on their age and weight. CDC reports found that seat belts prevent around 50 percent of of crash-related deaths and injuries. When you are behind the wheel, take responsibility and practice good driving behaviors that don’t including drinking and driving, texting, eating, talking on your cellphone or driving when too tired.

Lake County Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Attorneys

While new reports show promising results toward the prevention of accidental deaths, unfortunately not all unintentional injuries and deaths can be prevented. It is important to have the proper legal assistance if you have lost someone in a wrongful death accident. Our experienced Lake County personal injury lawyers are able to help clients during these untimely tragedies.

At Salvi & Maher, L.L.C. we take a true interest in helping our clients face the personal, emotional and often times financial struggles of losing a loved one to an unintentional injury. If you or someone close to you has been the victim of a serious personal injury, whether in a car accident, workplace injury, or home incident contact the experienced Lake County personal injury attorneys at Salvi & Maher, L.L.C. to schedule your free initial consultation and case review. Call 847-662-3303 or fill out our online contact form.

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