Background Injuries are the leading cause of death among First Nations in Canada from 1 to 44 years, Health Canada 2001. The Ontario First Nation population was 175 178 within 133 First Nation communities in 2008. Ontario First Nations identified Motor Vehicle Collisions, Violence including Suicide and Falls, as injury issues and recommended priorities in education, training and research. An Injury Prevention Initiative was established to address issues, implement priorities and develop an Ontario First Nation Injury Prevention Strategy and Action Plan. It is coordinated by the Chiefs in Ontario. Several projects were initiated to establish baseline information upon which to develop the Strategy and Action Plan. While data on Emergency Department visits and hospitalisations are available for all Ontarians, the data does not identify First Nation people, however, residential codes provided an opportunity to determine the rate of injuries for First Nation communities.
Objective To calculate the frequency of ED visits for injury in Ontario First Nations communities, stratified by sex and intent.
Methods Population-based data including all ED visits in Ontario were used based on Indian Reservation residential codes assigned by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.
Results The results showed that although injury rates were similar to the Ontario population, the incidence of intentional injury was 2.7 times higher among First Nations, and self-inflicted injuries were 4.6 times higher.
Conclusion The findings validate that injuries are a serious issue in Ontario First Nations and the strategy and action plan needs to address violence and self-inflicted injuries.
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