Since 2000, injuries have been the leading cause of death in Texas for ages 1-44. From 2018-2020, 48 Texans died from injuries and violence each day. Leading injury causes are motor vehicle crashes, drug overdoses, physical violence, and falls. Injuries can cause long-term physical and mental health problems. The Injury Prevention Unit works to understand how injuries impact Texans. By providing injury and violence data, we can help you reduce injuries in your communities.
In 2017, DSHS created the Office of Injury Prevention to centralize injury and fatality reduction work. The Office joined three programs – Emergency Medical Services and Trauma Registries (EMSTR), Child Fatality Review Teams (CFRTs), and the Safe Riders Child Passenger Safety Program. In 2018, DSHS received the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) violent death reporting system funding and set up the Texas Violent Death Reporting System (TVDRS). In 2022, DSHS elevated our injury prevention focus and changed the structure to an Injury Prevention unit.
Our vision is to use data and public health best practices to inform injury prevention activities and programs.
Every September, as we transition from summer to fall, the National Council on Aging (NCOA) leads the promotion of Falls Prevention Awareness Week (FPAW). The leading cause of injury for older adults (ages 65 and older) is falling. Over 1 in 4 older adults report a fall each year. We know that older adult falls are common and costly, but they can also be prevented. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Injury Center offers effective resources, tools, and tips to prevent older adult falls and other injuries. Prioritizing fall prevention can improve health, save money, and keep older adults injury-free and independent longer.
CDC’s Injury Center added seven new STAND STEADI videos for health care providers and health systems. These brief videos highlight work being done in older adult fall prevention across the country.
Every year, the EMSTR program collects over 4 million records from EMS services and trauma facilities on spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and other traumatic injuries specified in Texas Administrative Code, Title 25, Chapter 103. EMSTR includes only records submitted into the registries through a passive surveillance system.
The Safe Riders Child Passenger Safety program partners with community distribution programs to provide and educate on child safety seats. We show families how to install and use safety seats correctly.
Texas Child Fatality Review
The Child Fatality Review (CFRT) program tries to decrease preventable child fatalities by supporting child fatality investigations; promoting coordination with agencies involved in child fatality responses; understanding child fatality causes and incidences; recommending changes that will reduce preventable child fatalities; and suggesting changes to law, policy, or practice that will impact child safety.
The Texas Violent Death Reporting System (TVDRS) program collects data from medical examiners, justices of the peace, and law enforcement reports into one database. TVDRS links information about the “who”, “when”, “where”, and “how” from these data sources to provide insights about “why” the deaths occurred. TVDRS will capture statewide data by 2025.
Texas Overdose Data to Action (TODA)
The Texas Overdose Data to Action (TODA) focuses on the changing nature of the drug overdose epidemic. We want to highlight the need for a comprehensive approach to reduce drug overdoses, deaths, and related harms.
Open Records Requests
Texas Government Code Chapter 552 relates to public information requests and disclosures. If you want to submit an Open Records Request, please send your request to one of the following designated Public Information Act portals:
- Fax: 512-776-7720;
- DSHS Public Information Coordinator
- 1100 West 49th Street
- Austin, TX 78756-3101
- Hand delivery – accepted at all Department of State Health Services office locations during business hours.
The Texas Department of State Health Services does not endorse external links to other websites. These links are informational and may not be accessible to persons with disabilities.