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Role of the Emergency Physician in Injury Prevention and Control for Adult and Pediatric Patients

Reaffirmed April 2014

Revised June 2008 with current title, replacing rescinded "Role of Emergency Physicians in the Prevention of Pediatric Injury"

Reaffirmed October 2002

Originally approved March 1998 titled "The Role of the Emergency Physician in Injury Prevention and Control"


The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) believes that as providers of care for injured adult and pediatric patients, emergency physicians are ideally situated and have the responsibility to affect the health of the public by being leaders in injury prevention and control. Emergency physicians should integrate injury prevention and control into their practices as they interact in the following settings: 

Emergency Medical Services   
  • Promote and strive to provide injury prevention and control training to out-of-hospital care providers, including assessment of patients and their environment for injury risk factors and incorporation of primary prevention into out-of-hospital practice.     
  • Promote the development and improvement of inclusive trauma care systems that use tiered responses to provide appropriate care for all trauma patients in a cost effective manner.     
  • Support the testing and use of improved EMS technology for injury prevention and control.      

Emergency Department  

  • Provide expeditious care to acutely injured patients, whether intentional and unintentional, and optimize functional recovery from injuries by providing appropriate discharge instructions and referrals for aftercare or rehabilitative services.  
  • Develop and promote: 
    • Evidence-based injury prevention education into routine clinical practice to identify patients at-risk for injury. 
    • Interventions (with appropriate funding support) that address preventive mechanisms. 
  • Support the development of emergency department injury surveillance activities to help evaluate prevention efforts.  
  • Incorporate injury control and prevention science into continuing medical education programs, including trauma centers.   
Medical Schools/Hospitals
  • Support collaboration with researchers from other disciplines to develop and evaluate the effectiveness of injury prevention and control programs and policies.   
  • Support teaching fundamental concepts of injury control and prevention science to emergency medicine residents.   
  • Support resident research in the field of injury control and prevention.     


  • Educate the public, policy makers, and community leaders about injury prevention and control.   
  • Partner with other health care providers and community leaders in the concepts and practice of community injury control and prevention.   
  • Promote evidence-based community-focused injury control and prevention interventions that recognize the unique characteristics of the community and target at-risk populations.   
  • Promote evidence-based injury control and prevention policies through legislative or regulatory advocacy at the local, state and national levels. 
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