Loyola University Burn and Shock Trauma

Institute Prevention Center ILLINOIS

  Outstanding Collaborative Effort
Innovative or Non-Traditional Approach
  Safe Communities
Injury Prevention


One of the nation's greatest public health problems is personal injury. Injuries are the leading cause of death and disability for all Americans aged 1-44 and they account for 40 percent of all years of potential life lost. The cost in terms of human and financial resources exceeds $150 billion each year. Yet injury continues to be a neglected epidemic, both in terms of public attention and research activities.


The goal of the Loyola University Burn and Shock Trauma Institute Prevention Center Program is to help reduce and prevent injuries in targeted communities. Specific objectives include:

Developing, promoting, implementing and evaluating effective community-based injury prevention strategies and programs

Heightening awareness of health care professionals regarding their potential contribution to injury prevention


The Loyola University Burn and Shock Trauma Institute Prevention Center, implemented in 1991, includes a Trauma Information System that expands on the Illinois Trauma Registry. The system includes demographics information, clinical statistics, and other elements specific to the institute. This expanded database enables the institute to observe and evaluate injury control issues in communities that it serves. This Trauma Information System also is utilized by the hospital for its own clinical quality assurance activities.

Loyola University Burn and Shock Trauma

Institute Prevention Center (cont'd)

The Prevention Center offers its staff and resources to communities to assist in identifying areas of concern that may benefit from intervention. In Naperville, Illinois for instance, the Naperville Child Safety Committee (NCSC) requested a report on childhood injuries to help it focus the direction of its injury prevention strategies. The Prevention Center, in conjunction with the NCSC and the DuPage County Health Department, linked and analyzed data from the Naperville Fire Department, Emergency Medical Services, Naperville Police Department, and Edward Hospital trauma registry. This effort led to a focused injury prevention program concentrating on motor vehicle injuries and falls, and the formation of a SAFE KIDS chapter designed around the injury prevention theme.

The Prevention Center is based on the concept of Safe Communities. It seeks to help communities identify, link and utilize their own prevention resources; develop and implement appropriate programs; and evaluate progress and performance. The Prevention Center's staff guides communities in the development, implementation and evaluation of projects focusing on injury reduction. Whenever possible, the Institute coordinates and integrates efforts with community groups, such as emergency medical services, police and fire departments, local governments, community organizations, schools, public health agencies or other health care providers and businesses.


The Prevention Center has been successful in facilitating the expansion of injury prevention programs in many communities. Examples include establishment of a public relations database of more than 2,500 agencies and health care professionals, distribution of over 90 child safety seats to individuals meeting low income requirements, and numerous public presentations and safety events on injury prevention. Prevention Center personnel collaborated with community organizations to place 70 smoke detectors in low-income housing. They collaborated with the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago on short and long-term outcome rehabilitation in patients with mild brain injuries. As a result of the Prevention Center, the first National Injury Prevention Networking Group of Nurses was established. The Prevention Center also produced and distributed fact sheets on sledding and rollerblading injuries and infant car seat safety. It also serves as a clearinghouse for local, state and national injury prevention materials.