Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Public Health Week in Arkansas is April 4-10

Trauma System is Key to Treatment of Traumatic Injury and Heart Attacks and Stroke Issues Across State

(Little Rock) — The state’s new trauma system will save hundreds of lives lost to accidents every year, and an emergency call center to respond to accidents is a key component of that system. Guided tours of the new statewide call center were the highlight of a news conference held April 5, 2011, to kick off Arkansas Public Health Week.

A coalition of national, state and local organizations are focusing on injury prevention during Arkansas’s Public Health Week this year, promoting the national theme: “Safety is NO Accident: Live Injury-Free.” According to Joseph Bates, MD, deputy director and chief science officer at the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH), “Creating a healthier Arkansas must include creating a safer Arkansas,” Bates said. “That means taking steps to protect neighbors, families and communities from harm. Injuries, unexpected events and violence affect people at home, at work, and in their communities.”

Barbara Kumpe, Government Relations Director for the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association highlights injury prevention with regards to heart disease and stroke. Living healthy can prevent injury to brain and heart. The new trauma system will assist with faster and more effective response to heart attacks and strokes across the state as well as traumatic injuries.

The trauma call center will operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year providing support by radio to ambulances and emergency medical services statewide. When an accident, heart attack, stroke or other injury occurs, the center will coordinate communications between first responders and trauma center hospitals to provide appropriate care to patients. As a part of the state’s trauma system, a new injury prevention program has also been established to prevent accidents from happening. Mary Aitken, MD, director of the Injury Prevention Center at Arkansas Children’s Hospital, and professor of Pediatrics, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences said that the program will help reduce the numbers of accidents in the state and the costs associated with them. “As Arkansas continues to establish its trauma system, it is important to recognize that trauma systems involve not only providing critical care once a trauma has occurred but also require primary prevention efforts,” Dr. Aitken said. “Primary prevention includes providing education to individuals and families and -MORE- empowering them with resources that have been proven to prevent injuries and reduce injury risks.” “According to our research, if Arkansas could reduce its injury death rate to the U.S. average, we would save 458 lives each year. It is estimated that for every life saved, there would be 40 individuals not requiring hospitalization, and 1,000 less emergency room visits,” said Aitken.

Partners for Arkansas Public Health Week celebrations in the state are:

American Heart Association/ American Stroke Association

Arkansas Center for Health Improvement (ACHI)

Arkansas Children’s Hospital (ACH)

Arkansas Department of Health (ADH)

ADH Hometown Health Improvement (HHI)

ADH Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities (OMHHD)

Arkansas Public Health Association (APHA)

Arkansas Minority Health Commission (AMHC)

Metropolitan Emergency Medical Services

University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS)

College of Public Health (COPH)

UAMS Regional Programs/Arkansas Health and Education Centers (AHEC)

Find out more about Public Health Week at http://www.healthy.arkansas.gov/ or http://www.nphw.org/nphw11/ ###



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