Injury prevention activities in U.S. trauma centres: Are we doing enough?

Eileen M. McDonald, Ellen J. MacKenzie, Sandra D. Teitelbaum, Anthony R. Carlini, Harry Teter, Carl P. Valenziano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Background: Despite the requirement for and endorsement of injury prevention efforts among U.S. trauma centres, little is known about the breadth and depth of their current activities. Methods: A survey was sent to eligible institutions in the National Inventory of Trauma Centres to better describe how level I and II centres are fulfilling their injury prevention requirement, to identify the barriers to conducting prevention activities, and to determine trauma centre personnel's interest in enhancing their prevention role. Results: A total of 268 trauma centres (60%) completed the survey. Only 19% reported having an injury prevention director/coordinator but more than half of centres reported participating in 9 of 11 injury prevention activities, including participating in community events (97%), sending speakers to local schools (89%), and preparing or distributing educational materials (84%). Lack of time (68%), dedicated funding (68%), and an injury prevention specialist (45%) were the most frequently cited barriers to conducting injury prevention activities. Injury prevention collaborations were reported with safety groups (24%) and with emergency medical services, fire and police (23%). Trauma centres partnered less frequently with academic institutions (11%) and local or state health departments (16%). Topics and formats for injury prevention training as well as training barriers were also explored. Conclusions: Improved partnerships and linkages with established agencies and organisations at the local and state levels could assist trauma centres in leveraging their more limited resources and expertise to offer state-of-the-art injury prevention programs and policies. As low- and middle-income countries are developing or strengthening their trauma systems, they should be encouraged to view injury prevention as a fundamental responsibility.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)538-547
Number of pages10
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2007


  • Accreditation
  • Injury prevention
  • Trauma centre

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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