Increased mobile phone usage while driving, crossing roads and railway tracks has led to a spurt in accidental deaths in the past three years. The number of casualties have gone up from one every six minutes in 2010 to one every three minutes now.

This was revealed in a survey undertaken by the Trauma Centre at All-India Institute of Medical Sciences here which delved into the cause of death of patients who were taken there.

To create awareness about the issue, the Trauma Centre has started observing an Injury Prevention Week from this year.

“In 2010, there used to be one death on the road every six minutes and now that frequency has gone up to one every three minutes. So in view of the rise, the Trauma Centre started taking the history of the victims and found an increasing role of mobile phones in the accidents. We also found that rail track injuries were high among people walking with ear plugs in their ears and similarly a large number of people were getting hit on the roads while talking on phones,” said organising secretary of the programme, Nirmal Thakur.

Ms. Thakur said it was under the guidance of Trauma Centre head M. C. Thakur that the national public awareness programme called Pyramid of Injury Prevent (PIP) India was launched. “For this we made a logo; saw the nature of injuries in pregnant women, mothers, children youth and elderly; and tried to identify the reasons of injury.”

The findings were very revealing. “Children normally fall from a height while flying kites or due to low parapets. Similarly, many were hit by vehicles while playing cricket on the roads.”

To target the young, who often end up with cases of amputation, double amputation or even triple amputation, Ms. Thakur said the Trauma Centre decided to rope in young cricketer and captain of World Cup-winning India Under-19 team Unmukt Chand as its brand ambassador.

“We have shot a documentary with him during a road show and he interacted with a number of children during the PIP Injury Prevention Week which culminated on Sunday,” she said, adding that the AIIMS Trauma Centre would now celebrate this week every year to increase awareness about injury prevention.

Among the programmes which were organised as part of the prevention week this year were a blood donation camp, a drawing and painting competition for children “to judge their thoughts” and lectures in various schools.

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