June 20, 2014

Each year, CAMC admits more than 3,000 patients with traumatic injuries. While CAMC is a level 1 trauma center equipped to treat these patients and their diverse needs, the trauma services staff also focuses on educational programs to try and prevent injuries from occurring.

“Our goal is to provide 20 injury prevention events per year in schools, and also community-based activities such as health fairs, safety fairs and community group meetings,” said Kim Morgan, RN, MSN, trauma prevention/ outreach liaison. “The programs we offer to the public include distracted/ impaired driving prevention, ATV safety, bike safety, pedestrian safety, fall prevention and more.”

Distracted driving continues to be a hot topic. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 420,000 people were injured and 3,300 people were killed in accidents related to distracted driving in 2012. Using a handheld device while driving (for talking or texting) is a primary offense in West Virginia.

CAMC’s trauma team takes its driving simulator to schools and community events to demonstrate the dangers of distracted and impaired driving. The driver is given the choice to use his or her own phone, or an onscreen phone while “driving” the simulator. Another mode shows how drivers might be affected by alcohol or medications while behind the wheel.

“It’s not uncommon to drive down the road and see some type of distraction in every car,” Morgan said. “In targeting this risky behavior, we hope to increase awareness of the danger of distracted driving and impact behavior. It is not only common with teens, but adults as well.”

The distracted driving simulator, as well as CAMC’s other injury prevention and education programs, are available for schools, health fairs and other community events. “Our fall prevention programs are often requested by senior centers and assisted living facilities to help caregivers and family members,” Morgan said.

Individuals and organizations may request an injury prevention program or find out more information by calling Morgan at (304) 388-7809 or visiting camc.org/trauma and filling out an online request form.

Classes can be taught at CAMC or at another location.

CAMC General Hospital is designated by the American College of Surgeons and West Virginia Department of Health and Human Services/Office of EMS as a level I trauma center. Level 1 trauma centers provide leadership and total care for every aspect of injury, from prevention to rehabilitation. In addition, Level 1 centers provide leadership in education, research and system planning.

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