The City of New York tracks the reasons for hospitalizations from injuries in the city. Statistics from 2009 to 2011 provided by the Department of Health and Hygiene show that in all age groups, the most frequent type of accident is an unintentional fall. The most common outcome of falls is traumatic brain injury, with the second being fractures. In addition, falls were the cause of 130 deaths in New York in 2008, according to the Department of Health website.
This changes when we look at the second cause of hospitalizations from injuries. It turns out that the second most common reason for hospitalizations is unintentional poisoning among people who are age 34 and older. Among younger age groups, fires, pedestrian accidents and assaults send the most people to the hospital.
Other common reasons for hospitalization from injury include pedestrian accidents, unintentional and intentional poisoning, bicycle accident, motor vehicle accidents and the ever-popular “unspecified.” One startling statistic is that assault with a firearm is the sixth most common reason for hospitalization for people age 15-24 and the tenth most common among people age 25-34.
Firearms are a much bigger cause of fatalities. In fact, in some age groups, firearms are the most frequent cause of death. This is the case in the age group 15-34. Firearms homicide is the second-most common cause of death among people age 35-44, fourth among teens age 10-14 and 10th among those 45-54.
The city tracks this type of information to help it develop injury prevention programs. For example, it has developed programs to curb risky behavior among young people, behavior that could lead to assaults and firearms-related injuries and fatalities.