Preventing Injuries, Can Prevent Trauma

May is National Trauma Awareness Month. Trauma is often the result of a stressful situation or event. It can impact people physically, emotionally, and mentally. Injuries are one common cause of trauma, including firearm injuries, which are a public health issue. They can cause trauma, not only to the person who experiences the injury, but to their family, friends, and community.
Every day in Virginia, there are seven emergency department visits for firearm injuries. Firearm injuries can happen intentionally by a person hurting others or themselves. They can also happen unintentionally, like if a firearm is discharged while a person is cleaning it. Firearm injuries may lead to long-term physical or mental health challenges, disability, or death. Firearm injuries can also lead to high healthcare costs and long hospital stays. In 2022, Virginians injured by firearms spent a combined total of 7,021 days in the hospital, at a cost of more than $136 million dollars. Avoiding trauma is not always possible. But when it is, it begins with awareness, knowledge, and injury prevention. The Virginia Department of Health provides information about how to secure firearms to prevent unintentional discharge.
Firearm injuries are preventable. For a list of additional injury prevention resources, including firearm injury prevention printable items, visit the Virginia Department of Health Injury and Violence Prevention Resources web page. To learn more data on firearm injury in Virginia, visit the Firearm Injury in Virginia web page.