Injury is the leading cause of death and disability among Canadians and kills more children and young people than all other causes combined. The cost of injury is tremendous, estimated at some $19.6 billion annually in Canada. Injury prevention offers one of the most promising ways of reducing deaths, hospitalizations and related health care costs.
Injury often takes a back seat to less serious health concerns, because people believe that injuries are "accidents" or "fate," – an inevitable part of life –
and can neither be predicted nor prevented. Most injuries, however, have distinct patterns and are, therefore, predictable and preventable. Where good prevention efforts have been introduced, there have been significant reductions in disability and loss of life, such as with mandatory seat belt and child passenger restraint laws.
BC Injury Research and Prevention Unit (BCIRPU) conducts a comprehensive program of injury surveillance and research that contributes to improved understanding and prevention of injury. BCIRPU is a leader in the development of evidence-based prevention strategies, and has a solid reputation among the provincial, national and international injury prevention communities.