Talking to Medical Students About Violence

Recently, representatives from the Violence Intervention Advocacy Program (VIAP) and the Community Violence Response Team (CVRT), including Tracey Dechert, MD and Lisa Allee from the trauma program here at BMC, spoke to the Spectrum of Physician Advocacy Elective Course, a group of medical students committed to improving their knowledge on the social determinants of health and learning how to become effective physician advocates, fighting for health equity and advocating for social change. With full recognition of the devastating effects of injury and violence on the community, this group of students looked to expand their knowledge of the innovative hospital based violence interventions from the experienced members of these teams. A variety of team members were present to discuss their various roles and students had the unique opportunity to learn from those making a difference at all levels of the intervention. This session provided great insight for students about the barriers to effective care delivery created by cycles of violence and poverty. Students become aware of ways they can intervene when working with the trauma teams at BMC in addition to advocating for policy changes around the devastating effects of gun violence.

A little bit about Janet Orf, NP in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICU) at BMC


By: Boston Trauma Staff

Janet Orf is a Nurse Practitioner in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICU) at Boston Medical Center. She graduated with her BSN from State University of New York at Stony Brook and her MS from University of Maryland at Baltimore. She received her Acute Care Nurse Practitioner degree from University of Massachusetts at Worcester. She previously worked as a Critical Care Transport Nurse for Boston MedFlight for about 9 years.

She has been at BMC for the past 16 years working in various roles. Apart from working as an NP in the Emergency Department and now currently in the SICU she also has experience as a Trauma Program Manager for about 18 months. She is grateful for BMC for providing her with the opportunity to do what she enjoys the most. About three years ago she traveled to Antarctica for 6 months to be a Flight Nurse with the Raytheon Polar Services Corp. She brings a unique set of skills to BMC and her ability to thrive in challenging environments is a tremendous asset to the team. She is passionate about taking care of the sickest and complex patients.

During her spare time she enjoys traveling, hiking, renovating her home, and is an accomplished sailor.

Parents Are the Key to Safe Teen Drivers


10/20/14; Courtesy of CDC

Many parents don’t realize it, but the #1 threat to their teen’s safety is driving or riding in a car with a teen driver. The fact is, about 3,000 teens lose their lives every year in car crashes. That’s eight teens a day too many. The main cause? Driver inexperience.

CDC’s Parents Are the Key campaign helps to educate parents on their invaluable role in reducing risk and managing their teens’ driving behavior. Now, just in time for National Teen Driver Safety Week (October 19-25), CDC has launched a refreshed Parents Are the Key website, featuring new materials and resources in English and Spanish—including a Parent-Teen Driving Agreement.

We encourage you to visit the Parents Are the Key website, which we’ve designed to help parents, pediatricians, and communities keep teen drivers safe on the road.

Spread the Word

We ask that you please help us raise awareness of these resources during National Teen Driver Safety Week. Here are some sample tweets and Facebook posts that you can use:

Click here for more information

Motor Vehicle Crash Injuries Costly but Preventable

cdc data

Courtesy of CDC website.

More than 2.5 million Americans went to the emergency department (ED)—and nearly 200,000 were then hospitalized—for crash injuries in 2012. On average, each crash-related ED visit costs about $3,300 and each hospitalization costs about $57,000 over a person’s lifetime. The best way to keep people safe and reduce medical costs is to prevent crashes from happening in the first place. But if a crash does occur, many injuries can still be avoided through the use of proven interventions. More can be done at every level to prevent crashes and reduce injuries, but state-level changes are especially effective.

State officials can:

  • Consider using proven interventions that increase the use of car seats, booster seats, and seat belts; reduce drinking and driving; and improve teen driver safety.
  • Support traffic safety laws with media campaigns and visible police presence, such as those used with sobriety checkpoints.
  • Link medical and crash data to better understand why crashes happen, the economic cost of those crashes, and how to prevent future crashes.

Click here to read full article

CPSC Approves Strong Federal Safety Standard for High-Powered Magnet Sets to Protect Children and Teenagers

SEPTEMBER 25, 2014

WASHINGTON, D.C. – To protect the safety of  consumers, especially young children, tweens, and teenagers, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission voted to approve a new national safety standard for high-powered magnet sets.

High-powered magnet sets are hazardous to young children, who have mouthed and ingested these magnets.  The magnets also pose a serious risk to teens and tweens, who have used them to create mock lip, tongue, and nose piercings.

Hazardous magnet sets include, on average, approximately 200 magnets, although some sets have up to 1,700 magnets.  If multiple magnets are ingested, the magnets attract each other, pinching or trapping intestines or other digestive tissue between them.  The result can be a serious injury that requires surgery and can lead to lifelong health consequences or death.  High-powered magnet sets were found to be responsible for the death of a 19-month-old girl and, according to CPSC analysis, an estimated 2,900 emergency room-treated injuries between 2009 and 2013.  The Commission concluded that the safety standard is necessary to address the unreasonable risk of injury or death associated with these magnet sets.

Courtesy of

Click here to read full article

Bike Safety Tips from TranSComm

Bike Safety Tips from TranSComm

BMC now has a bike cage located behind the 710 parking garage. We would like to remind you of some important safety tips for cyclists and motorists because we all need to share the road.

For cyclists:
– The same laws that apply to motorists apply to cyclists. Obey all stoplights and signs.
– Use hand signals; indicate stops and turns.
– Always wear a properly fitted helmet.
– Stay to the right side of the road. Always ride in the same direction as traffic.
– Be visible! Wear safely colored clothing and use a white front light and red rear light in low light.
– Be aware. Scan the road ahead of you. Don’t listen to headphones while biking; you need to hear everything around you.

For motorists:
– Yield to cyclists. Bicyclists are vehicles of the road and should be given the appropriate right of way.
– Be considerate. Do not blast your horn in close proximity to cyclists. Look for cyclists when opening car doors.
– Pass with care. When passing, leave 4 feet between you and a cyclist.
– Wait for safe road and traffic conditions before you pass.
– Check your rearview mirror before moving back.

Courtesy of BMC Communications.

Elderly Falls and Evidence-Based Prevention Activities

Statement on older adult falls and falls prevention

The following statement was developed by the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Committee on Trauma and was approved by the Board of Regents at its June 6–7 meeting.

The following statement was developed by the ACS Committee on Trauma’s Committee on Injury Prevention and Control to educate surgeons and other medical professionals about the significance of older adult falls and evidence-based prevention activities.

The ACS recognizes the following facts:

  • Falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries for older adults.1
  • One out of three older adults falls each year. Of these, fewer than half talk to their health care providers about it.2
  • Many people who fall, even if they are not injured, develop a fear of falling, which may cause them to limit activities, leading to reduced mobility, loss of physical fitness, and, in turn, an increased risk of falling.3,4
  • A person who has fallen once is two to three times more likely to fall again within a year.5

The ACS supports efforts to promote, enact, and sustain legislation and policies that encourage:

  • Older adult care providers to implement comprehensive fall prevention programming including:
    • Developing community partnerships with community-based centers, such as YMCAs, churches, senior centers, and older adult living centers.
    • Incorporating an evidence-based exercise/physical therapy fall prevention program. Helpful information can be found at the CDC and other websites.
    • Partnering with home-based visiting programs to complete multi-factorial risk assessments, including: medication review, including the use of opioids; assessment of vision, home safety, and balance and gait; and consideration of vitamin D supplementation.
  • Assessment of the risk/benefit of anticoagulation and anti-platelet therapies in older adult patients.
  • Risk assessment of falls in regular practice. Examples are included in the STEADI (Stopping Elderly Accidents, Deaths, and Injuries) tool kit.
  • Collaboration with regional and statewide fall prevention coalitions for local networking/resources.

Click here to access full article.

Courtesy of