There is a price tag to everything. We are all too aware of the hidden costs of almost anything we undertake for personal development. The more enterprising in society are often those who have figured out how to pass the cost on to other people. Likewise, when it comes to the weightier matters of developing entire countries, it appears that the more enterprising countries, called High Income Countries, also found ways of passing the cost to the less enterprising, often called the Low Income Countries. Within the LICs, the wealthier in society pass the cost to the poorer, and so on and so forth, until the poorest and weakest in any society bear the ultimate cost, ensuring the status quo. So the list of the countries with the highest rates of any type of injury, with the exception, perhaps, of teen suicide, mirrors almost exactly the list of countries with the lowest incomes. But is this pattern set to continue, or are there ways in which the cycle can be broken, so that even when national and community incomes do not rise substantially, injury prevention can thrive, and trauma care can improve? The presentation will explore examples, both positive and negative, of injury prevention and trauma care which defy the set income-safety trap, and propose ways in which countries and communities can promote safety and provide equitable trauma care irrespective of income levels. Other causes of inequity, such as race, gender, and age, will be explored as well.
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