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May 27, 1999

Injury control center gets grants

Injury control center gets grants

Researchers from UPMC Health System's Center for Injury Research and Control (CIRCL) have received two grants, one to initiate a study and the other to continue an ongoing program.

A $185,000 grant from the National Institute of Justice will fund an 18-month study of injuries and violence against pregnant women.

Injuries are the leading cause of death and a major cause of morbidity in all women of reproductive age, according to Harold Weiss, visiting assistant professor and principal investigator in the justice institute-sponsored study. "The prevalence of physical violence against pregnant women is estimated to be from 156,000 to 332,000 women per year in the United States," Weiss said.

Researchers will examine 1997 discharge data from hospitals and compare the rate of violence-related hospitalization to all women of reproductive age.

The data will include information on more than 500,000 pregnancies and 4,000 injuries related to women between the ages of 15 and 44 who were discharged with both a pregnancy and an injury-related diagnosis. Additionally, the costs of the injuries will be examined.

"This study also will help to standardize methods to measure population-based incidence of severe injury and violence against pregnant women," Weiss said.

CIRCL researchers also received a $35,000 grant from the Federation of Independent School Alumnae for the center's Think First for Kids educational program.

The program, geared to Pittsburgh elementary school children, focuses on five safety topics: vehicular safety, bicycle safety, sports and recreational safety, water safety and violence prevention.

"One of the best ways to address prevention of traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries is to provide early and timely educational and interventional services at the elementary school level," said Donald Marion, CIRCL director and head of neurological trauma at UPMC Health System.

CIRCL is one of nine programs in the U.S. with official Centers for Disease Control designation as an injury control research center. These centers provide relevant and innovative methods for injury surveillance and prevention that then can be used by state and local government agencies.

In addition, the center works to educate health care providers, the general public and injury prevention professionals through information dissemination and educational programs.

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