Injury and Violence Prevention News

August 2003
In this issue:
1. An Assessment of Minnesota's Health Care and Public Health Response to Violence Against Women
2. What Would You Do? A Family Violence Quiz
3. Domestic Violence Awareness Month: Plan for October
4. Injury and Violence Prevention Plan: What’s Your Story?
5. Minnesota Ranks Low In Traumatic Brain Injury Rates
6. Exercise: A Fall Prevention Strategy
7. Fireworks Injuries Increased Last Year
8. Late Summer Injuries: Bikes, Motorcycles, Bites and Stings
9. Resources on ATVs and Injuries

1. An Assessment of Minnesota's Health Care and Public Health Response to Violence Against Women

An Assessment of Minnesota's Health Care and Public Health Response to Violence Against Women summarizes the 2002 assessment of the prevention of and response to violence against women in Minnesota. You’ll find reviews of literature and current policy and practices. The report also summarizes interviews with 56 individuals concerned with domestic and sexual violence who worked in health care, public health, and survivor advocacy. The assessment also lists recommendations for change. A statewide plan, based on this assessment and several follow-up planning meetings, will be distributed in September.



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2. What Would You Do? A Family Violence Quiz

Visit Global Violence Prevention and you can complete an online case study about family violence. The module tells the story of a woman who experiences violence. It puts the user in the position of various professionals who come in contact with victim and her children and asks what advice they should give her or what actions they should take. The case, which is part of the Minnesota Center Against Violence and Abuse (MINCAVA) website, is based on Minnesota law. The module also includes current articles and other domestic violence resources.

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3. Domestic Violence Awareness Month: Plan for October

Domestic Violence Awareness Month, in October of each year, is intended to connect advocates who are working to end violence against women and their children. Activities around the country are as varied and diverse as the program sponsors. Their common themes are mourning those who have died because of domestic violence, celebrating those who have survived, and connecting those who work to prevent and end violence. Ideas and resource materials can be found at the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.


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4. Injury and Violence Prevention Plan: What’s Your Story?

The Injury and Violence Prevention Unit is developing a prevention plan for Minnesota. To be completed by the end of this year, the plan will include various types of unintentional and intentional injury. It will be organized so that people and organizations will find recommendations to act on and partners to work with.

To make the plan more interesting and readable, we would like to include quotes and short stories from people who care about injury and violence prevention. Please tell us your own story or others you have heard. Have you, or has someone you know or work with (no names, please), experienced any of these: a bicycle injury, motor vehicle crash, house fire, firearm injury, fall, farm injury, drowning, sports injury, poisoning, sexual violence, domestic violence, youth violence, or suicide attempt?
1. How did the injury change the person’s life?
2. What could have prevented it?
3. What do you think about this issue?

Please reply with your story.

Your quote or story will “personalize” the plan, making it more likely that people will read it and use it. Thus you will be part of preventing injury and violence in Minnesota. Thank you!



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5. Minnesota Ranks Low In Traumatic Brain Injury Rates

Minnesota was second lowest among 14 states studied for age-adjusted rates of traumatic brain injury (TBI). An article in the June 27, 2003 issue of CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Review (MMWR) reports on a study of the states that are funded to do surveillance of traumatic brain injury. Among the 14, only Rhode Island had lower rates of TBI than Minnesota.

  • Some other findings reported in the article:
    In the 14 states, the highest rates of TBI were found among youth aged 15-19, older adults, African Americans, and American Indians. (Race and ethnicity are not risk factors for TBI but are related to socioeconomic status and other risk factors for injuries in general.)
  • Motor vehicle crashes were the leading cause of TBI for most age groups, with falls by far the leading cause for older adults.
  • Since about half those injured were not using protective equipment, the article strongly recommended the use of seatbelts and airbags by occupants of cars, and helmets by bicyclists and motorcyclists.
  • Strategies to prevent falls among the elderly were also strongly recommended.
  • About one-fourth of those studied had an injury classified in the hospital as severe and were likely to have long-term deficits or rehabilitation needs. But even traumatic brain injuries considered to be mild frequently have long-term consequences, so follow-up is needed to determine effects and needs.

Through surveillance, states have been able to increase public awareness, target effective prevention interventions, develop legislation, and obtain funding. States (like Minnesota) that have legal authority to contact persons who have been hospitalized with TBI can link them with services, collect information on their service needs, and estimate the number of people who need TBI-related services.



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6. Exercise: A Fall Prevention Strategy

Exercise and the Older Adult is the theme of the summer edition of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Fit Society Page newsletter. The newsletter provides the latest information from ACSM's leading authorities on health and fitness topics for older adults. With topics such as how to safely begin an exercise program and what exercise is recommended after knee and hip replacement, this edition is a great tool for older adults who want to get or remain active. Other topics include post-menopausal exercise, increasing lifestyle activities for more physical activity, and flexibility among older adults.

Learn how to plan September activities for older adults from Healthy Aging.


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7. Fireworks Injuries Increased Last Year

To evaluate the effect of the state law permitting more access to fireworks, the Injury and Violence Prevent Unit compared reported fireworks injuries before and after the change. In 2001, there were 35 reported injuries, and in 2002, there were 103. View the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's fact sheet on fireworks-related injuries, which includes a link to prevention recommendations.


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8. Late Summer Injuries: Bikes, Motorcycles, Bites and Stings

Injuries vary by season. Minnesota data show some late summer “peaks” to watch for while thinking of prevention activities.

Bicycle injuries: In 2001, half of the hospital-treated bicycle injuries not involving motor vehicles occurred in June, July, and August (2,938 incidents). Another 27 percent occurred in May and September (1,418 incidents). The total for 2001 was 5,344. These injuries are most common in 10-14 year old boys (1,218) and 5-9 year old boys (764).

Prevention recommendations can be found at Best Practices to Prevent Bicycle Injuries and the Minnesota Safety Council.

Motorcycle injuries: Nonfatal hospital-treated motorcycle injuries on public roads in 2001 peaked in July (286 incidents, 23 percent). In June and August there were 444 incidents (35 percent). Another 23 percent occurred in May and September (292 incidents). The total for 2001 was 1,252. Males aged 20-49 made up 60 percent of all those hospitalized and males aged 15-29 made up 38 percent of all those seen in the emergency department.

Prevention recommendations can be found at the Minnesota Safety Council.

Bites and stings: One third of all hospital-treated bites and stings in 2001 occurred in July and August (3,157 incidents). Another 38 percent occurred in May, June, and September (3,628 incidents). The total for 2001 was 9,542. Bites and stings are most common in 1-4 year olds (1,419) and 5-9 year olds (1,051). The bites and stings included 3,050 dog bites (32 percent), 2,676 nonvenomous insect/spider bites (28 percent), and 2,049 hornet/wasp/bee stings (21 percent).

Prevention recommendations and national data can be found at the CDC’s July 4 issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.


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9. Resources on ATVs and Injuries

The New Mexico Department of Health worked with the Albuquerque Journal on a series of 11 newspaper articles on the risks of all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), which are also a concern in Minnesota. The articles explore a number of topics relating to ATV use, including personal experiences of crash survivors, helmet usage, state and federal laws, and advocacy for changes in laws.


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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.