TORONTO — Preventable injuries kill dozens of Canadians every day and cost the country’s economy billions of dollars, says a new report released Wednesday.

The report by Parachute, a group focusing on injury prevention, examined all injuries across the country in 2010.

Preventable injuries were responsible for about 43 deaths a day and were the top cause of death among Canadians aged 1 to 44, the report said. They also claimed the lives of more children than all other causes.

Injuries such as falls, drowning and transport accidents drained $27 billion from the economy.

“The simple fact is almost all of these injuries and deaths could have been prevented,” the report said.

In 2010, preventable injuries in Canada resulted in:

— 15,866 deaths

— 231,596 Canadians hospitalized

— Nearly 3.5 million emergency room visits

— More than 60,000 Canadians either partially or permanently disabled

— $15.9 billion in direct health-care costs

— $26.8 billion in total economic costs (including costs related to reduced productivity from hospitalization, disability and premature death)

Falls were the top preventable injury and the biggest drain on the economy accounting for $6.7 billion or 42 per cent of direct costs of injury.

Suicide and transport accidents were the leading cause of indirect costs of injury, both accounting for $2.1 billion.

Parachute said the data shows that the preventable injuries’ cost and death toll have continued to rise since 2010, and the group forecasts an economic impact of $33 billion and a daily death toll of 46 people for 2015.

The numbers will continue to increase, the report said, without active steps to reduce Canada’s preventable injury rate.

“The good news is that the vast majority of the injuries described in this report are both predictable and preventable,” the report concludes.

“It is time to take comprehensive, effective action that will prevent injuries and save lives.”


Liam Casey, The Canadian Press