Injury and Violence Prevention News

November 2003
In this issue:
1. Deer Stands: An Injury Risk in November
2. Shopping for Safe Holiday Toys
3. CDC Focuses Attention on Older Persons and Injury
4. Tell Us Your Story
5. Making Health Communications Programs Work: A Planner's Guide
6. Recent Injury and Violence Publications
7. New Violence Prevention Poster
8. Some Facts About Traumatic Brain Injury
9. What's New at CDC Injury Center

1. Deer Stands: An Injury Risk in November

Many serious injuries occur during hunting season as deer and bear hunters use deer stands (sometimes called tree stands) to get a better shot. Some of the stands are home-made and others are purchased. Between 1993 and 2003, at least 101 people were seriously injured in Minnesota using deer stands, and another 11 died. (Actual numbers may be higher, because "deer stand injuries" are not coded as such and the information comes from comments hospitals submit to MDH; comments are only submitted with reports of traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, and trauma center treatment.)

Falls from the stands caused 94 percent of the serious injuries, and 72 percent of the people injured sustained a fracture. Vertebral (back) fractures accounted for 53 percent of the fractures, and another 11 percent also had spinal cord injuries. Only 10 percent were hospitalized because they broke an arm. Three-fourths of the injuries were reported to have occurred “at home,” apparently on property owned by the hunter, such as a farm. About a third of the hunters were between 38 and 48 years of age, 95 percent were male, and 18 percent had a positive blood alcohol concentration.

Prevention measure might include these:

  • Do not use alcohol before or during hunting.
  • Make or purchase a stand with safety railings.
  • Use a harness to secure the hunter to the tree.
  • Use heaters cautiously or not at all; some of the hunters were burned.
  • Remember gravity: falls from higher stands cause more severe injuries.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources offers additional safety guidelines.



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2. Shopping for Safe Holiday Toys

December is Safe Toys and Gifts Month and Prevent Blindness America has guidelines for shopping for safe holiday gifts for children.



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3. CDC Focuses Attention on Older Persons and Injury

Injury is a serious threat to the health and well-being of Americans ages 65 and older. Older adults are at higher risk for many types of injuries that can lead to death or disability. In the United States, 37,461 people ages 65 and older died from injury during 2000; nearly 2.7 million people ages 65 and older suffered nonfatal injuries during 2002 (CDC, 2003). These injuries are preventable. Through research and a wide range of activities, CDC's Injury Center is working to protect older Americans from the threat of injury.

The National Center for Injury Prevention and Control has information, including data, publications, and CDC activities on injuries relating to older people: falls, suicide, home fires, elder abuse, and older drivers.



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4. Tell Us Your Story

The Injury and Violence Prevention Unit is developing a plan for preventing unintentional and intentional injury in Minnesota. We would like to include some short stories or quotes about injury and violence prevention. Have you (or a family member, friend, client, or co-worker) experienced any of these kinds of injuries?

  • bicycle injury
  • domestic violence
  • drowning
  • fall
  • farm injury
  • firearm injury
  • house fire
  • motor vehicle crash
  • poisoning
  • sexual violence
  • sports injury
  • suicide attempt

Please fill out an anonymous survey with a few words (or a longer essay, if you prefer) about the injury, its effects, and what might have prevented it.

If you are not concerned about anonymity, you may write directly to Injury and Violence Prevention.

Thank you for helping to make injury prevention more personal and relevant to people's lives.



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5. Making Health Communications Programs Work: A Planner's Guide

That's the formal title of The Pink Book, available in print or CD-ROM. Single copies of both versions are free from the National Cancer Institute, Department of Health and Human Services, 1-800-4-CANCER.

The 251-page book presents real examples of successful strategies and applies to all health communications programs. It includes ready-to-use forms for planning and implementing health communications campaigns, as well as information on assessment, audience identification, market research, developing and pre-testing messages and materials, engaging partners, working with the media, and evaluating programs.



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6. Recent Injury and Violence Publications

IVPU News is now one year old. If you're among the new readers who have joined us since October 2002, you may have missed some of these items:

Recent IVPU Publications include databooks, databriefs, prevention resources, and planning documents on topics including sexual violence, intimate partner violence, injury-related mortality, nonfatal injuries, and traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries. Fact sheets or news releases accompany the more detailed databooks.

During the past year, the Injury and Violence Prevention Unit also has published seven topics in the series called Best Practices in Injury Prevention.
Each topic includes data on the extent of the problem, recommended prevention strategies, and links to other resources. Topics to date are:

Besides publications, the IVPU website now includes an interactive system called Minnesota Injury Data Access System (MIDAS).

You can use it to request and create data tables based on your own need. The system will be expanded in coming months as datasets are added.



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7. New Violence Prevention Poster

The Ramsey County Initiative for Violence-Free Families in cooperation with Partners for Violence Prevention created a violence prevention poster. The printed posters are 14" x 5" If you are interested in ordering copies, contact Don Gault.


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8. Some Facts About Traumatic Brain Injury

Did you know that...


Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is more common than breast cancer, multiple sclerosis, HIV/AIDS, and spinal cord injury (SCI), combined?

  • Every 21 seconds, someone in the U.S. sustains a traumatic brain injury?
  • About two percent of all Americans (5.3 million people) live with disabilities resulting from TBI?
  • TBI is defined as an insult to the brain caused by an external physical force. It may produce a diminished or altered state of consciousness, resulting in an impairment of cognitive abilities or physical, behavioral, or emotional functioning.

The MDH Injury and Violence Prevention Unit maintains a registry of all hospitalized cases of TBI and SCI since 1993, and analyzes data from the registry.



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9. What's New at CDC Injury Center

A new issue of What's New at CDC's Injury Center is now on the web. It lists funding opportunities, conferences, and other activities of the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control.



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Also see > National Center for Injury Prevention & Control (NCIPC), at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, for the latest injury prevention news at the national-level.


mdh logo
Injury and Violence Prevention Unit
Minnesota Department of Health
PO BOX 64882
ST PAUL MN 55164-0882
(651) 201-5484
injury.prevention@health.state.mn.us

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The Minnesota Department of Health attempts to report all data accurately. If you discover an error, please contact us at Injury.Prevention@health.state.mn.us.
By using this system, you agree to not share these data in ways that would identify individuals or provide information on any malicious acts.