Injury Prevention and Control

Course flyer image of people crossing street in NYC

COURSE OVERVIEW

Injury is the leading cause of death for ages 1- 44, and the leading cause of years of potential life lost to age 65, surpassing heart disease and cancer.

The general topic of injury is very diverse, including unintentional and intentional injury. The semester will begin with an overview of the field of injury followed by a focus on several specific subject areas, examining current issues within those subject areas. Course activities include discussion and critique of key readings, web-based and observational assignments, and a paper and presentation at the end of the semester. A major theme throughout the course will be the application of a systems approach to injury prevention and control. An extra-unit is available for students who wish to prepare a paper for publication (guidance provided).

PUBLIC HEALTH BURDEN OF INJURY

  • Unintentional or intentional damage to the body resulting from acute or chronic exposure to thermal, mechanical, electrical, or chemical energy or from the absence of such essentials as heat or oxygen.
  • Injuries occur through road traffic, occupational exposure, violence, war, and self-inflicted causes.
  • Leading cause of death for ages 1-44, and leading cause of potential years of life lost to age 65, surpassing heart disease and cancer.

COURSE AIMS

  • Injuries as a major public health problem (size and scope of the problem, social costs, financial burden).
  • Injury surveillance (ICD codes, measuring exposure, risk assessment).
  • Social and economic gradients in the burden of injury.
  • Application of a systems approach to injury prevention.

TOPICS FOR FALL 2019

  • Overview (definition, scope of the burden of injury, sources of data)
  • Systems approach to injury prevention and control (theme throughout course)
  • Motor vehicles (a leading cause of U.S. injury deaths)
  • Pedestrian and bicyclist injury (critical issue in mode shift to walking and biking)
  • Firearms (a leading cause of U.S. injury deaths, including homicide, suicide, and unintentional)
  • Occupational injury (social and economic impact, role of workers’ compensation)
  • Emergency medical response (current status, potential improvements)

Instructors
David Ragland, PhD, MPH
Co-Director, Safe Transportation Research and Education Center (SafeTREC)
UC Berkeley School of Public Health
davidr@berkeley.edu

Glenn Shor, PhD, MPP

Manager, California Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (California Department of Industrial Relations, Cal/OSHA)
Continuing Lecturer, UC Berkeley School of Public Health
glennshor@gmail.com