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Injury Prevention Service

Injuries are not accidents or random, unavoidable events. Research has shown that injuries happen in predictable, preventable ways. Public health strives to prevent injuries before they occur by studying populations, trends, and the associated risk and protective factors. Injuries are categorized into two major groupings based on intent — unintentional and intentional.

Injuries don't happen by chance.

Intentional Injuries

Intentional injuries are purposely inflicted toward oneself or others with the goal of causing a certain level of harm. Some examples of these self-inflicted and interpersonal acts of violence include suicide, homicide, sexual assault, intimate partner violence, child abuse, youth violence, and terrorism.  

Unintentional Injuries

Unintentional injuries occur when there is no predetermined or deliberate attempt to cause harm. Some examples of unintentional injuries include falls, overdoses, drownings, motor vehicle-related injuries, suffocations, and burns.


Injuries are the leading cause of death for Oklahomans aged 1 to 44 years.


The economic cost of injury deaths are over $35 billion annually in Oklahoma.


Nearly 70,000 years of potential life were lost before age 65 in 2020.

Since its inception in 1987, the Injury Prevention Service has maintained a comprehensive injury prevention program within the Oklahoma State Department of Health that is guided by the following purpose:

All people deserve lives free from injury and violence. Affirming the predictable, preventable, and interconnected nature of injury and violence, the Injury Prevention Service supports this principle by:

  1. Recognizing the unique strengths and needs of different communities;
  2. Collecting, analyzing, utilizing, and disseminating data;
  3. Collaborating with communities and organizational partners to identify needs, find solutions, and implement prevention initiatives; and
  4. Informing policies that seek to protect Oklahomans from injury and violence.

Injury and violence is a serious and widespread problem in Oklahoma, resulting in over 4,300 deaths every year, making it THE leading cause of death for Oklahomans aged 1 to 44 years. Injuries account for more years of potential life lost before the age of 65 (premature death) than heart disease, cancer, diabetes, stroke, COVID-19, influenza, pneumonia, and HIV combined, and total over $35 billion in medical, work loss, and loss of life costs annually. Injury deaths are just the tip of the iceberg. There are over 21,000 nonfatal inpatient hospitalizations and more than 370,000 nonfatal emergency department discharges every year due to injuries and violence, resulting in nearly $3.5 billion in hospital charges.

Prevention matters! Experiencing injury or violence can have a lifelong impact. Ranging from short-term effects, such as missing work or school, to long-term consequences, such as disabilities or permanent changes in physical and mental health, the impacts of injury and violence are varied and far reaching. However, a wide range of prevention strategies have been proven to work and be cost effective. By implementing an array of interventions, addressing disparities, and working in collaboration, together, we can reduce the significant burden of injuries and violence.

Contact Information

Mailing Address:
Oklahoma State Department of Health
Injury Prevention Service
123 Robert S. Kerr Ave., Suite 1702
Oklahoma City, OK 73102-6406

Physical Address:
Oklahoma State Department of Health
Injury Prevention Service
123 Robert S. Kerr Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK

Telephone: (405) 426-8440
Fax: (405) 900-7588