Traffic accidents are the most prevalent cause of death in developed countries between the ages of 1-33 years. In spite of a low motorization level in Israel, the rate of injury per 100,000 residents in Israel (2.8) was higher than in the US (1.8), NZ (1.7), Canada (1.7), Japan (1.3) and most European countries. The worst injuries were among pedestrians particularly children aged 1-9 years and elderly (70+) years. In the past decade there have been significant advances in trauma care in Israel Major strides included the foundation of trauma centers in hospitals, the establishment of the National Council for Trauma and the National Center for Trauma and Emergency Medicine Research at the Gertner Institute that coordinates the national trauma registry. One of the primary aims of the registry was to provide data to support decision-makers in setting national policy for accident prevention. The Israeli Police Department provides data on traffic accident victims to the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) which publishes the national figures. In their article in this edition of the journal Dr Peleg and Dr Aharonson-Daniel present a grave concern regarding the fact that details of over 50% of hospitalized traffic accident victims were not reported to the CBS by the police, including data on the severely injured casualties. Traffic accidents are a major cause of loss of life and disability, creating a heavy economic burden on the state and the health care system. Hence, the authors recommend establishing a national database which will combine data from medical and other sources and present the complete comprehensive picture of traffic accident injuries. Such a database will improve the decision-making process, providing more focused data to enhance the preparation and dissemination of appropriate injury prevention policies.
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|Published - Feb 2004