Unintentional injury is the 4th leading cause of death for all Americans and the 7th leading cause of death for older American adults. Unintentional injury is also a major contributor to the global burden of disease and disability. The goal of the Prevention Committee is to help advance and disseminate best evidence and best practice regarding injury prevention to members of the international trauma community. Our primary efforts are focused on educational activities at the Annual Meeting, electronic learning through AAST Grand Rounds and webinars, and through publications. We also work closely with the Trauma Prevention Coalition of the American Trauma Society and the Prevention Committees of the COT and EAST to foster collaboration and synergy across organizations.
This year, we are focusing on two main areas: Violence Prevention, and Distracted Driving and Traffic Safety. We have a number of educational offerings in these areas. We are updating our website to better serve as a resource for all injury prevention, but we are focusing on these areas in particular.
Our major initiative this year—lead by Dr. Deborah Kuhls, and in collaboration with EAST Prevention Committee Chair and AAST Prevention Committee member, Dr. Alexander Eastman—is a survey of EAST and AAST members’ views about firearms injury. This project builds and expands upon a similar survey of COT members that Dr. Kuhls presented in an oral presentation at last year’s AAST Annual Meeting. This new survey should deepen our understanding of attitudes about firearms injury within the trauma community and identify points of consensus for working towards reducing firearms violence. We will distribute the survey electronically this spring, and we plan to have preliminary results ready to share at the Annual Meeting in September.
May is Trauma Prevention Month and this year’s focus is violence prevention. In support of this effort, we will host a webinar on May 31—“Guidelines for Developing and Maintaining a Hospital-Based Violence Intervention Program”—featuring Rochelle Dicker. Dr. Dicker is an international leader in violence prevention, and she is widely recognized for her innovative and effective work in San Francisco. She and others on the COT have developed guidelines for violence prevention programs, and these guidelines will be discussed during the webinar. Dr. Sheldon Tepperman will moderate the webinar on May 31, 2017. Dr. Tepperman recently highlighted the Youth Violence Prevention Program at his hospital, the Jacobi Medical Center in Bronx, NY, in AAST’s most recent issue of the Cutting Edge.
Distracted Driving and Traffic Safety
Another major focus this year is distracted driving and traffic safety. Distracted driving, defined as any activity that diverts a driver’s attention from driving, is a national health epidemic. It contributed to over 431,000 motor vehicle crashes and 3,179 vehicular deaths in 2013.
Spearheaded by Drs. A. Britt Christmas and Mayur Naran, our committee is in the early stages of writing a white paper about distracted driving. We also seek other opportunities to educate trauma clinicians and injury prevention teams about this increasingly important topic. In November, our committee will sponsor a webinar, organized by Dr. Spiros Frangos, entitled “No Deaths Are Acceptable: Vision Zero and Traffic Safety in the 21st Century,” which will highlight novel policy efforts and municipal approaches to reducing pedestrian injuries and motor vehicle crashes.
I’d like to thank the members of this committee for their energy, enthusiasm, and commitment in pulling these programs together and for advancing our goals. I would also like to thank Brea Sanders, Sharon Gautschy, and the Board of Managers for their support of our work, which makes these activities possible.
Zara Cooper, MD, Chair (2018)
Keith Clancy, MD, Vice-Chair (2018)
David Blake, MD MPH, DMCC (2016)
A. Peter Ekeh, MD (2016)
Richard Gonzalez, MD (2016)
Sidney Miller, MD (2016)
A. Britton Christmas, MD (2017)
John Hinsdale, MD (2017)
Deborah Kuhls, MD (2017)
Christine Cocanour, MD (2018)
Robert Driscoll, MD (2018)
Alexander Eastman, MD (2018)
Kimberly Joseph, MD (2018)
Erik Streib, MD (2018)
Scott Thomas, MD (2018)
Carnell Cooper, MD, Ex-Officio (2016)