Injury and Violence Prevention News

February 2003
In this issue:
1. Best Practices to Prevent Youth Violence
2. Nonfatal Injury in Minnesota, 2001: Hospitalized and Emergency Department-Treated
3. Thanks to the volunteers who pilot-tested MIDAS
4. Congratulations: communities selected to receive smoke alarm grants
5. Medical records staff learn about coding injury and violence
6. Medical residents learn about documenting injury and violence
7. Now available in Spanish: Home Safety Checklist and Materials on Traumatic Brain Injury
8. Public health strategies include injury and violence topics
9. The New Healthy Relationships Consortium begins its work
10. Sexual Violence Prevention Network meeting focuses on Internet safety
11. The cost of injury: part of a new health educators' website

1. Best Practices to Prevent Youth Violence

Violent injury and death disproportionately affect children, adolescents, and young adults in the United States. Homicide is the second leading cause of death among 15-24 year-olds nationally. In Minnesota, it's the third leading cause of death for this age group. Nearly 25 percent of all Americans who died from firearm injuries in 1997 were between 15 and 24 years of age. The rates of victimization for rape, sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated assault are higher among people under age 25 than among other age groups. Just as alarming is the number of young people who are committing violent acts. In 1997, 1,700 youths under age 18 in the U.S. were implicated in 1,400 murders.

What can be done about youth violence? Visit Best Practices to Prevent Youth Violence to learn about MDH recommendations for prevention strategies, along with many websites for information or proven strategies.

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2. Nonfatal Injury in Minnesota, 2001: Hospitalized and Emergency Department-Treated

The Injury and Violence Prevention Unit has produced a new databook on nonfatal injury, focusing on 2001, the most recent data available. It compares injuries that are treated in the emergency department (ED) with those for which the patient is hospitalized.

    A few of the findings:
  • Teenagers and young adults are a large proportion of those treated in EDs, and elderly people are a large proportion of those who are hospitalized.
  • Most injuries are unintentional, except for self-inflicted poisoning, which was the first leading cause of hospitalized injury for females ages 10-44.
  • Falls were the leading cause of both hospitalized and ED-treated injuries, when age groups and genders are combined. Falls also were the most expensive injury in terms of hospital charges.
Nonfatal Injury in Minnesota, 2001: Hospitalized and Emergency Department-Treated, includes a fact sheet with highlights.

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3. Thanks to the volunteers who pilot-tested MIDAS

Thanks to two of our readers - Mary Jo Chippendale of Chisago County and June Halverson of Fillmore County - who have participated in a pilot test of the Minnesota Injury Data Access System (MIDAS). They were able to answer questions like these: How many non-fatal hospitalized firearm injuries were there in Minnesota in 2001? How many were in Greater Minnesota, in the seven-county metro area, and in just Hennepin and Ramsey Counties? Compare the injury rates for both genders and use age adjusting, so you account for counties with different age distributions.

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4. Congratulations: communities selected to receive smoke alarm grants

MDH has selected nine communities to be awarded CDC Alarmed and Alert Grants, which support fire safety education and smoke alarm assessment and installation. In the participating communities, the program encourages partnerships between local public health and fire departments. Receiving funds are Beltrami, Douglas Koochiching, Olmsted, Watonwan, and Winona Counties, and the communities of Golden Valley and Columbia Heights. If interested in participating in a future grant cycle, contact Mari Mevissen.

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5. Medical records staff learn about coding injury and violence

In April, the MDH Injury and Violence Prevention Unit will coordinate training for hospital medical records staff on coding the external causes of injury. Proper coding is essential to developing accurate statewide data on the causes and risk factors for injury and violence. Gerry Berenholz, a nationally recognized trainer, will conduct sessions in:

  • St. Cloud, MN (April 7, 2003)
  • Fargo, ND (April 8, 2003)
  • Grand Forks, ND (April 9, 2003)
  • Rochester, MN (April 11, 2003)
  • .

    In 2001, Ms. Berenholz trained more than 100 people in Minneapolis, St. Paul, Duluth, and Mankato. Future training may include instructors at medical records training institutions.

    For questions, or to register for any of the above workshops, contact Maureen Holmes, (651) 281-9871.

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    6. Medical residents learn about documenting injury and violence

    Marlene Jezierski, RN and David McCollum, MD are working with MDH to develop and implement a curriculum to train medical residents in effective screening and documentation of intimate partner violence. The two-part training was presented to residents in three Minnesota programs in 2002. Further dissemination is planned for 2003. If you have any questions about this training, or would like us to offer it a specific residency program, please contact Maureen Holmes, (651) 281-9871.

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    7. Now available in Spanish: Home Safety Checklist and Materials on Traumatic Brain Injury

    If you work with people whose first language is Spanish, you may be interested in these materials relating to injury.

    A Spanish translation of the pediatric version of the Home Safety Checklist is now available from the Family Home Visiting website.

    Some of the materials MDH sends to survivors of traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury are available in Spanish, thanks to staff at the Brain Injury Association of Minnesota. The letter, which is sent a few weeks after MDH is notified of hospital discharge, is printed in both English and Spanish, as is a list of resources and organizations. Parents of children who have sustained traumatic brain injuries are told how to obtain the Spanish version of When Your Child's Head Has Been Hurt.

    In addition, CDC has printed a Spanish translation of Facts About Concussion and Traumatic Brain Injury.

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    8. Public health strategies include injury and violence topics

    You may have already seen Volume 2 of Strategies for Public Health: A Compendium of Ideas, Experience and Research from Minnesota's Public Health Professionals. This excellent resource covers a wide variety of issues in which public health strategies can have a positive effect. More than one hundred Minnesota Department of Health staff from more than 35 programs, including Injury and Violence Prevention, contributed to this project.

    The strategies can be used by state and local public health agencies, community-based organizations, health plans, hospitals and clinics, schools and businesses that are addressing public health problems, goals and objectives.

    Strategies for Public Health, Volume 2 can help collaborative, community-wide efforts determine which strategies best fit their communities and resources; can inform the planning, program design and implementation of actions taken; and can help evaluate whether efforts are making a difference.

    For strategies to prevent injury and violence, read the two PDF files about Unintentional Injury (bicycle injuries, fires, falls, and other home hazards) and Violence (child maltreatment, domestic violence, sexual violence, and youth violence).

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    9. The New Healthy Relationships Consortium begins its work

    The Injury and Violence Prevention Unit is coordinating the Healthy Relationships Consortium, in partnership with the Konopka Institute for Best Practices in Adolescent Health at the University of Minnesota. The Consortium is part of a one-year Violence Against Women implementation grant that MDH received from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The Consortium focuses on increasing knowledge and resources relating to healthy intimate dating relationships among youth in Minnesota, as a way to help prevent sexual and intimate partner violence.

    At the first Consortium meeting on February 6, Neil Rainford, from CDC, gave an update on national violence prevention efforts. Psychologist Diann Ackard, Ph.D. presented "Adolescents and Dating Relationships: A Time of Risk and Opportunity."

    For more information on the Consortium, contact Amy Kenzie, (651) 281-9810.

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    10. Sexual Violence Prevention Network meeting focuses on Internet safety

    People from throughout Minnesota who are interested in sexual violence prevention are welcome to attend meetings of the Sexual Violence Prevention Network. It is co-hosted by the Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault, the Minnesota Center for Crime Victim Services, and the Minnesota Department of Health. Each meeting includes time for information-sharing, networking, and collaboration, followed by a presentation.

    The February 7 topic was "Online Safety for Children and Adults," presented by the Jacob Wetterling Foundation (Patty Wetterling, co-founder, Nancy Sabin, executive director, and Kelli Praught, office manager). Also presenting was Rick Anderson, Commander, St. Paul Police Department's Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

    Future SVPN meetings will be on Friday, May 2; Friday, August 1; and Friday, November 7, 2003. To add your name to the mailing list, contact Amy Kenzie, (651) 281-9810.

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    11. The cost of injury: part of a new health educators' website

    The Society of Public Health Educators, has a website, Injury Prevention and Behavioral Science.

    Here are a few facts from the new site, which is funded by CDC:

  • It is estimated that the annual national cost of injury is more than $224 billion for direct medical care, rehabilitation, lost wages, and productivity losses. This is a 42% increase in the last decade.
  • Injury prevention is a good investment.
  • Every $1 spent on bicycle helmets saves society $30.
  • Every $1 spent on child seats saves society $32.
  • Every $1 spent on smoke alarms saves society $65.
  • The website also includes suggestions for applying behavioral science to injury prevention. It lists resources including websites and article abstracts.

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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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