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Emergency Department Injury Surveillance Report


Emergency Department Injury Surveillance Report

South Fraser Health Region
April 1, 2001 - June 30, 2001

The information on this page is based on the data provided through the

Preliminary Data Analysis
prepared by
BC (Canada) Injury Research and Prevention Unit for
the South Fraser Health Region
South Fraser Regional Report Period 1 
http://www.injuryresearch.bc.ca/SFHR_RegionalReport1.pdf

The lead to this information was provided by Eeva Sodhi.

Emergency Department Injury Surveillance Data Report
South Fraser Health Region
April1, 2001 - June 30, 2001
November, 2001

Distribution of Cause of Injury
South Fraser Health Region Emergency Department
[Source: data displayed in Figure 2 of the EDISDR report]

Cause Males Females Both
Injuries %* Injuries %* Injuries %**
Falls 1,501 54.9 1,233 45.1 2,734 26.0
Struck by Object 1,547 67.2 756 32.8 2,303 21.9
Cutting/Piercing 848 71.7 335 28.3 1,183 11.3
Motor Vehicle-Occupant 439 48.5 467 51.5 906 8.6
Overexertion 456 58.8 320 41.2 776 7.4
Homicide and Injury Purposely Inflicted by Other 359 75.4 117 24.6 476 4.5
Foreign Body 304 74.3 105 25.7 409 3.9
Environmental 149 50.3 147 49.7 296 2.8
Non-MV Pedal Cycle 213 78.6 58 21.4 271 2.6
Other 117 70.1 50 29.9 167 1.6
Machinery in Operation 137 89.5 16 10.5 153 1.5
Fire, Flames & Hot Substances 77 56.2 60 43.8 137 1.3
Postoperative Complications 69 56.1 54 43.9 123 1.2
Poisoning 55 51.9 51 48.1 106 1.0
Suicide and Self-Inflicted 48 57.8 35 42.2 83 0.8
Motorcyclist 66 85.7 11 14.3 77 0.7
Other Transport 34 44.7 42 55.3 76 0.7
Adverse Effects 17 37.8 28 62.2 45 0.4
Motor Vehicle-Pedestrian 23 53.5 20 46.5 43 0.4
Motor Vehicle-Pedal Cycle Rider 20 69.0 9 31.0 29 0.3
Undetermined Intent 20 76.9 6 23.1 26 0.2
Off-Road Motor Vehicle 14 66.7 7 33.3 21 0.2
Explosives 13 72.2 5 27.8 18 0.2
Suffocation 9 64.3 5 35.7 14 0.1
Electricity 7 58.3 5 41.7 12 0.1
Legal Interventions 5 50.0 5 50.0 10 0.1
Accidental firearm discharge 5 100.0 0 0.0 5 0.0
Drowning & Submersion 5 100.0 0 0.0 5 0.0
Late Effects 5 100.0 0 0.0 5 0.0
Totals:  6,562 62.4 3,947 37.6 10,509 100.0

  * The numbers in this column represent percentages of the given category total for both sexes.
** The numbers in this column represent percentages of the total injuries for both sexes in all categories. 

 

Distribution of Cause of Injury
South Fraser Health Region Emergency Department
[Source: data displayed in Figure 2 of the EDISDR report]
Distribution of Cause of injury, SouthFraser Health Region Emergency Department, by sex, April 1 - June 30, 2001

The information presented in the EDISDR report is based on injury reports collected from the emergency departments of four hospitals in the South Fraser Health Region.  The final report, to be issued toward- or after the end of June 2002, will contain data from a total of ten or eleven hospitals in British Columbia.

Consider that the category "Homicide and Injury Purposely Inflicted by Other" includes domestic violence injuries.  Consider that injuries obtained through animal bites are most likely included in the category "Other".  Consider that Cathy Young reported on US Bureau of Justice statistics released in August of 1997, that

Indeed, CDC numbers show that more than twice as many women visit emergency rooms due to being injured by an animal (459,000 a year) than by a male partner. ...[and that] The new Justice Department numbers show that ALL violence is responsible for about 3% of women's INJURY-RELATED visits to emergency rooms, and domestic violence for about 1%. Since fewer than a third of women's emergency-room visits are injury-related, this means that domestic violence accounts for fewer than 0.3% of these visits. While it is possible that some domestic violence cases were not identified in the study, it is noteworthy that its estimates include not only positively established but probable cases of violence from injuries. (Women's Freedom Network Press Release)

Then, if it is reasonable to extrapolate from the total US DV data contained in the US Justice Department numbers, it follows that DV-related injuries obtained by girls and women account for no more than about one-third of the injury visits out of the 117 visits shown under the category "Homicide and Injury Purposely Inflicted by Other".  That would be about 39 (1%) of the 3,947 injury-related emergency room visits made by girls and women or 0.37 percent of all 10,509 injury related visits made by boys, men, girls and women. 
   Let's not forget now that roughly two-thirds of willful injuries inflicted on children in families are perpetrated by the children's mothers, and that we don't know the proportion of girls contained in the total of 39 injury victims in the "Purposely Inflicted by Other" category (the preliminary data analysis of the report did not identify any information relating to that).  It therefore is probable that the total of DV-related injuries obtained just by women is substantially lower than the figure of 39 identified in the preliminary report for all females.

Those numbers seem hardly indicative of a pandemic of domestic violence against women.  Let's hope that the final and full report will shed more light on that issue.

Even the new report will not address one problem that has prevented objective and accurate reporting of domestic violence injuries, contained, amongst many others, in the category "Homicide and Injury Purposely Inflicted by Other"
   The problem is that for example homicides currently don't necessarily involve the emergency room of a hospital, obviously not when the victim is being transported directly to the morgue because all help would be too late for him.  That kind of homicide victim is often not recorded as the victim of a DV-incident, as the final classification then depends not on the objective findings of the medical staff in an emergency room but, rather, on the plea-bargaining done by the lawyers for the perpetrator who, if he is a woman, will quite likely get off with manslaughter or perhaps even only a claim of self-defence, in which case the victim, although irrevocably dead from a violent act against him, will not be counted as a domestic-violence victim, and perhaps not even as a murder- or manslaughter victim.

However, even in the case of people that are merely injured, and that is especially true of men, not unless they are injured very, very seriously, many cases are apt not to be counted by emergency departments.  Those are the cases of men not likely to report with their injuries to any doctor or any hospital emergency room.
   There is a variety of reasons for that.  One is embarrassment felt by the men, another is that under "zero-tolerance" policies that are now in effect in many jurisdictions men fear to be arrested, as the police in many localities must, regardless of that the man is doing the bleeding and his wife stands there, unscathed, holding the blood-dripping knife.  Numerous cases are on record where that indeed happened.  In one case in the US, the man upon whom the assault had been launched by the women had been arrested and put into handcuffs.  While he was waiting at the curb, to seat himself in the police cruiser, the woman rushed out unto the street and cut his throat.  It would be interesting to determine whether that man was counted as a DV victim or as having died while committing an assault.
   The greatest fear of all is that once DV occurs, regardless of who the victim is, there is a good chance that the children of the family will be apprehended by Social Services.  That may be the most convincing deterrent of all to prevent a man from seeking any attention, whereas for the woman it is one of the best ways to get rid of him, except for the paying.  Domestic violence by women most certainly has its rewards, but never for men.

It just so happened that as I was in the final stages of formating this page, I received a call from an Alberta man.  He had no place to go (there are no shelters for battered men and their children anywhere in Canada) but felt that he had to voluntarily leave his home because his wife frequently goes into violent rages.  The severity of her attacks on him had escalated to the point where he feared for his life.  Just a few months ago she had stabbed him.  He did not report the incident to police and did not seek medical attention, because he was worried about what would be done to his children.  He took a needle and dental floss to sew up the wound his wife had inflicted on him.
   The man is not a caveman and not a macho-man.  He is human and bleeds just like anyone else.  He is a well educated, highly skilled man with great concerns for the safety of his children, a man whose heart is bleeding because of a heartless society bent on destroying men like him.  He is a man at the end of his rope, someone for whom, from his perspective, there seems to be  no way out anymore.

If you have room in your heart for a prayer, offer a prayer in behalf of a man who had to operate on himself because he thought that would save his family and his children.


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__________________
Posted 2001 02 12
Updates:
2002 02 13 (corrected typos)
2007 12 14 (reformated)