Injuries are classified into two categories, intentional and unintentional, on the basis of intent.
Intentional injuries are ones that are purposely inflicted and are often associated with violence. These include domestic violence, sexual assault, aggravated assault, homicide, and suicide.
Unintentional injuries are those injuries that are not inflicted purposely and that occur without intent of harm. These unplanned events can include falls, motor vehicle crashes, and poisoning. Unintentional injuries are a serious public health threat. They are the leading cause of nonfatal injury for all age groups in the United States, as well as the leading cause of death nationally for individuals aged 1 to 44.
Unintentional injuries are not “accidents.” They are predictable and preventable. Public health works to prevent injuries before they happen by looking at predisposing factors/predictors. Public health also looks at injury across the whole population - not just individual cases. Rhode Island unintentional injury data show a serious and widespread problem, particularly with respect to falls among Rhode Island’s older population, motor vehicle crashes, and unintentional poisoning.
In 2011, the Rhode Island Department of Health received a multi-year grant from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the Core Violence and Injury Prevention Program. This grant allows us to collaborate with public and private partners to develop, implement and evaluate programs to reduce death and disability resulting from injuries identified as priorities in our state injury prevention plan.