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The American College of Surgeons’ (ACS) Committee on Trauma recently released Resources for Optimal Care of the Injured Patient 2014.1 Now in its sixth edition, Resources enumerates the criteria that US trauma centres must satisfy to achieve ACS verification. Of particular relevance to the field of violence and injury research is Chapter 18, entitled ‘Prevention’. Among the many changes is the addition of criterion 18-5, which states: “Level I and II trauma centers must implement at least two programs that address one of the major causes of injury in the community” (p. 141). Violence is a major cause of injury in the communities served by urban trauma centres,2 ,3 and thus violence is likely to be the focus of many new programmes established to satisfy the criterion. This presents an opportunity to integrate violent injury research into practice as most trauma centres will adopt existing models of hospital-based violence prevention.
Given that criterion 18-5 functions as an unfunded mandate, and that resources dedicated to prevention activities are limited in most trauma centres,4 preference will likely be given to injury prevention programmes with relatively low costs. Programmes that use fear appeal are not very …
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