Injury and Violence Prevention News

January 2003
In this issue:
1. Best Practices to Prevent Falls
2. Volunteers Needed To Test MIDAS, the New Web Query System
3. Invitation: Sexual Violence Prevention Network Meeting: February 7, 2003
4. Whose Month Is It? A Planning Tool for 2003
5. Lessons Learned: the Tenth Anniversary of Minnesota's Traumatic Brain Injury and Spinal Cord Injury Registry
6. New Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report Article Reports on TBI Deaths in the U.S
7. Minnesota Injury Profile: Comparing Minnesota with the Nation
8. They Aren't Toys: Data on BB Gun and Pellet Gun Injuries
9. Just for Fun: How Did Your County Get Its Name?

1. Best Practices to Prevent Falls

Falls are among the leading causes of injuries, both fatal and nonfatal, in the U.S., and Minnesota's rates are higher than those of most other states. How extensive is the problem, and what can we do about it? Check out Best Practices to Prevent Falls, which joins past units on Motor Vehicle Crashes, Bicycle Injuries, and Firearm Injuries. You'll learn about the evidence-based best practices and will be directed to many helpful resources.

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2. Volunteers Needed To Test MIDAS, the New Web Query System

You soon will be able to mine for gold in MIDAS: the Minnesota Injury Data Access Site. (The name is the brainchild of IVPU Research Analyst Anna Gaichas.) MIDAS will allow users to obtain the injury and violence data that interests them: by county or statewide, by type of injury or intent, by age group or gender, etc. The data, which come from a variety of sources, are stripped of all private identifiers.

Local public health staff will likely be major users of MIDAS. To ensure that the system meets your needs, Injury and Violence Prevention staff are seeking volunteers to test a trial version. It will take 10 to 15 minutes and can be done at any computer with web access. If interested, contact Curtis Fraser and ask for the instructions and the URL for the test site.

We will print the names of people who participate in this pilot in a future issue of this newsletter, if they so desire. Thank you for helping to improve the website!

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3. Invitation: Sexual Violence Prevention Network Meeting: February 7, 2003

Representatives of The Jacob Wetterling Foundation and the St. Paul Police Department will present "Online Safety for Children and Adults" at the next meeting of the Sexual Violence Prevention Network, from 11 a.m-2 p.m. Friday, February 7, 2003 at the Minnesota Department of Health Snelling Office Park in St. Paul. The Wetterling Foundation received one of the Minnesota Department of Health Sexual Violence Prevention Partnership Grants to conduct this program. To register, contact Amy Kenzie.

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4. Whose Month Is It? A Planning Tool for 2003

When planning prevention activities, you may want to tie into national health observances, such as National Child Passenger Safety Awareness Week or Sexual Assault Awareness Month. The National Health Information Center of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services lists month observances.

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5. Lessons Learned: the Tenth Anniversary of Minnesota's Traumatic Brain Injury and Spinal Cord Injury Registry

The Minnesota Traumatic Brain and Spinal Cord Injury (TBI/SCI) Registry began collecting data in November of 1992. During those ten years, the Minnesota Department of Health has gained significant experience and learned many lessons. Here are some examples:
  • Trends: While national trends indicate that TBI-associated mortality and hospitalizations are decreasing, Minnesota data suggest that there has been a treatment shift from mortality, to severe trauma, to hospitalization, to emergency-department treatment. One implication is that people are living longer with the effects of TBI and that health care services and resources are likely to be used more heavily.
  • Quality Control: We regularly review all data fields for reliability and improve the design of data collection forms, data entry and abstracting procedures, and linkage among various sources of data.
  • Case Definitions: Minnesota uses a broader case definition than many other states, to identify and serve more people who have sustained true TBI/SCI. We include, for example, Shaken Baby Syndrome and anoxic brain damage (near drowning / near hanging).
  • Reporting: We have developed new ways to make TBI/SCI data more accessible to people who can use it, including a TBI/SCI data books, which also have fact sheet summaries, and starting March 2003, web-based queries will be available.


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6. New Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report Article Reports on TBI Deaths in the U.S

For a ten-year summary of epidemiology and trends, read Surveillance for Traumatic Brain Injury Deaths - United States, 1989-1998. The article in the December 6, 2002 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report presents data on TBI-related deaths by age, gender, and race. It deals with the major external causes of the deaths, including firearm injuries, motor vehicle crashes, and falls.

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7. Minnesota Injury Profile: Comparing Minnesota with the Nation

The Centers for Desease Control and Prevention's National Center on Injury Prevention and Control has compiled a state-by-state injury profile. Minnesota's profile includes maps and graphs comparing Minnesota and national death rates for motor vehicle crashes, falls, poisoning, suffocation, drowning, fires/burns, suicide, homicide, traumatic brain injuries, and firearm injuries. It also displays Minnesota maps that highlight individual counties that are at or above national death rates for the various injuries.

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8. They Aren't Toys: Data on BB Gun and Pellet Gun Injuries

BB guns and pellet guns are often marketed as toys, but recent Minnesota Department of Health data show another picture. In answering a data request from Citizens for a Safer Minnesota, Injury and Violence Prevention found 408 injuries of children and teenagers from these types of guns from 1998 to 2001. These included injuries treated in emergency departments and those for which the patient was hospitalized, and injuries with all intents (unintentional, assaultive, and self-inflicted). Most were unintentional and treated in the emergency department.

In the article The Unrecognized Injury Toll of Non-Powder Guns: These Guns Aren't Toys, The Handgun Epidemic Lowering Plan (HELP) Network presents national data and makes BB and pellet gun injury prevention recommendations. The article is summarized in a news release from the HELP Network

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9. Just for Fun: How Did Your County Get Its Name?

Minnesota's diversity is reflected in its county names. Learn about that diversity in the Minnesota State Government Series: County Names containing information from the Minnesota Historical Society.

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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.