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Two Sides to Trauma at Hartford Hospital: Treating It, Preventing It

June 17, 2019

The Injury Prevention Center at Hartford Hospital offers programs that help reduce the incidence of injury and trauma through education and behavior modification. In cases of trauma, Hartford Hospital offers the region’s first level-one trauma center and is expanding in both clinical expertise and research.

Christa Green, a clinical research associate with the Injury Prevention Center, provides a closer look:

Q.  Hartford Hospital is a level-one trauma center. What does that mean?
A. Injury is the leading cause of death for Americans 1 to 44 years old. Still, millions more survive their injuries each year. Trauma Centers are specially equipped to treat these injuries. Being a level-one trauma center means that Hartford Hospital meets the highest standards for providing optimal care to injured patients. This means we have the right people and equipment to take care of the most severely injured patients 24/7. Hartford Hospital’s resources and services span across the trauma spectrum from prevention through rehabilitation.

Q.  As a researcher at the injury prevention center, what are you finding? And how  do you use this research to help the community?
A. We know that unintentional injuries are most common, although about 10 percent of patients admitted to the trauma center are victims of violence. More specifically, we know that falls are the most common cause of injury in our trauma population followed by motor vehicle and motorcycle crashes. As researchers, we use information like this to identify where we need to focus our prevention strategies to reduce the prevalence of these injuries.

Q. The goal is preventing trauma and better educating the public. How are you achieving this?
A.  At the Injury Prevention Center, the goal is to translate our research findings into evidence-based programs and public awareness campaigns, and advocate for policies that increase the safety of our community members. For example, intimate partner violence, or domestic violence, is a frequent and costly public health issue. At Hartford Hospital, we train clinicians on how to talk to and provide local resources to our patients that may be affected. Then in the community, we implement CUT IT OUT, an evidence-based program that trains hair stylists how to listen and talk to their clients about intimate partner violence and offer them resources to get help in their own communities.

Q. Your department works with gun clubs, talking safety and even ‘Stop the Bleed.’ Can you elaborate more on how this helps?
A. Yes. We work with gun owners to ensure safety is a top priority by educating on the importance of safe storage and even recognizing signs that someone they know might be suicidal because we know that 60 percent of firearm deaths are from suicide. We also train the public on Stop the Bleed, which is a national campaign that educates and empowers bystanders to help a bleeding victim. When it comes to firearms, many deaths can be prevented if the bleeding is controlled quickly, so we train community members to know how to do just that until help arrives.

For more information on emergency services at Hartford Hospital, click here. For more information on the Injury Prevention Center, click here.