Injury Prevention

Violence and injuries affect everyone, regardless of age, race, or economic status. Nearly 131,000 people die in the U.S. yearly from an unintentional injury. And deaths are only part of the problem. Each year, millions of people are injured and survive. They are faced with life-long mental, physical, and financial problems. 

Injury prevention focuses on potential injury patterns and promotes or implements programs to educate the community about preventable injuries. Our Trauma Services team is committed to teaching the importance of injury prevention. Some of our programs include the following:

Falls Prevention

Falls are a significant concern for Iowans, especially with Iowa's aging population. For all age groups, falls are the second leading cause of injury deaths in Iowa, and the leading cause of injury hospitalizations and emergency visits in Iowa. One in Three older adults (65+) will fall each year, and every 29 minutes an older adult dies from a fall related injury. For those over the age of 65, falls are the leading cause of injury deaths with the highest rate in those over the age of 85. The causes of falling vary with contributing factors, including: reducing strength in lower extremities, use of four or more medications, poor vision, chronic health problems and unsafe home conditions. 

Four things you can do to prevent falls:

1. Begin a regular exercise program. Lack of exercise leads to weakness and increases your risk for falling. 

2. Have your healthcare provider review your medications. Some medications or combination of medications can make you dizzy or sleepy and make you fall.

3. Have your vision checked by an eye doctor at least once a year.

4. Make your home safer. About half of all falls occur at home. There are several things you can do to make your home safer- remove clutter; small rugs that you may trip over, and install grab bars near the bathtub and toilet. 

Matter of Balance (MOB) Course

Matter of Balance is a successful, evidence-based program for older adults. Participants demonstrate significant improvements after completing the course in their level of falls management, falls control, level of exercise and social limitations with regard to concerns about falling.

Sessions include:
  1. Introduction to the Program
  2. Exploring Thoughts and Concerns about Falling
  3. Exercise and Fall Prevention
  4. Assertiveness and Fall Prevention
  5. Managing Concerns about Falling
  6. Recognizing Fall-ty Behavior 
  7. Recognizing Fall Hazards in the Home and Community
  8. Practicing No Fall-ty Habits and Fall Prevention: Putting It All Together

Find Matter of Balance Classes in your area.

Rural Trauma Team Development Course (RTTDC)

The Rural Trauma Team Development Course was developed by the ad hoc Rural Trauma Subcommittee of the Committee on Trauma, American College of Surgeons to help rural hospitals with development of their trauma teams. It is hoped that the course will improve the quality of care in their community by developing a timely, organized, rational response to the care of the trauma patient and a team approach that addresses the common problems in the initial assessment and stabilization of the injured. It is the purpose of RTTDC to increase the efficiency of resource utilization and improve the level of care provided to the injured patient in the rural environment. If interested in hosting a course please contact Carrie Gilchrist at 515-241-6893 or

One Second

The leading cause of death in young people, ages 14-20, is car crashes - most of which are caused by distracted driving and lack of seat belt use. The One Second Program utilizes teen involvement, creative messages and personal stories to bring awareness to the number one killer of teens - motor vehicle crashes. We focus on bringing awareness to the power of decisions and what can change in only one second. Get the facts on distraction, seatbelts, or how to break the silence when you're caught in the car with a distracted driver here on our website at

Blank Children's Hospital Programs

Our partners at Blank Children's Hospital Center for Advocacy & Outreach offer numerous programs on injury prevention. Some of these programs include: Safe Kids, Fire Safety, Car Seat Safety, Teen Driving, Bike Safety, window safety, and child abuse prevention.  Learn more about these programs. 

Concussion Safety

For the safety of our athletes and further prevention of concussions, the state's youth sports concussion safety law went into effect on July 1, 2011. The Iowa High School Athletic Association and the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union are required to work together to distribute guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other sources. The goal is to inform and educate coaches, students, and parent/guardians of students to the risk, signs, symptoms and behaviors consistent with concussion or brain injury, the danger of continue to play after sustaining a concussion, and their responsibility to report such signs, symptoms, and behaviors if they occur. 

A concussion is a brain injury often caused by a bump or blow to the head. Even what seems like a mild bump can be serious. Concussions cannot be seen and signs and symptoms may vary. Sometimes symptoms might show up immediately after an injury while other times they may not appear or be noticed for day or weeks. If you notice any signs or symptoms of a concussion, seek medical attention immediately.

To learn more about our sports safety programs please go to: