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CDC Injury Center: Director's View Blog

The purpose of this blog is to foster public discussion about injury and violence prevention and response and gain perspectives of those we serve.

Recovering from TBI – Why I Do What I Do at the Injury Center

Categories: CDC Injury Center, Motor Vehicle Safety, Traumatic Brain Injury


Guest blogger: Jessica Burke   

Jessica's car after the accident

Jessica's car after the crash

I could be a web developer anywhere. So, why do I choose to work at CDC’s Injury Center?  

It’s because I know what it means to suffer a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). And I know how important it is to help prevent other people from going through what I went through one Thursday in August 2005.

Childhood Injury: A Picture Really is Worth a Thousand Words

Categories: CDC Injury Center, Home & Recreational Safety

Starting from the time when drawings on cave walls portrayed tales about human life, people have been using images to tell their stories. Even a simple image can quickly communicate thousands of details, increase understanding about a difficult topic, or help us comprehend the relevance of complex data.

Preventing Suicides – Why I Do What I Do at the Injury Center

Categories: CDC Injury Center, Violence Prevention


Photo of Deb Karch, PhD

Deb Karch, PhD

Guest blogger: Deb Karch, PhD

I wrote my first suicide note when I was 13 years old. I hid it and the many more that followed in my stamp collection, books or other secret hideaways, all places I knew my mom would never look.  For the next 15 years, each time I packed up my belongings for another move, I would find another one I had forgotten about. I would read each one with dismay.  I learned the hard way that an overdose only resulted in having to drink a thick black charcoal concoction with one ankle strapped to a bed frame to keep me from taking off.  Running the car in the garage took far too long and two rounds of Russian roulette proved me to be a very lucky woman.  

Stepping in for Child Abuse Prevention

Categories: CDC Injury Center, Violence Prevention

child - girlWe see and hear about violence and acts of violence every day.  Some of these events have become so common that we no longer notice them, or are desensitized to their impact.  Occasionally, an act of violence grabs our attention, and moves us to want to do something to change the situation.

Dr. Lee Annest: Why I Do What I Do at the Injury Center

Categories: CDC Injury Center, Motor Vehicle Safety

Guest Blogger: Lee Annest, Ph.D, MS  

Photo: Dr. Lee Annest

Dr. Lee Annest

You see crashes on the roads all of the time, but you don’t ever think it’ll actually happen to you.  My wife and I were driving down a crowded interstate in Atlanta a couple of years ago when a speeding car swerved and crashed into our van, and then we were hit by three other cars going 65 mph.   The fact that we walked away with only stiff necks and minor injuries seemed like a miracle….or was it?  We were wearing our seat belts and our van took the brunt of the impact because of good engineering and front and side air bags.  I do what I do at the CDC Injury Center because I believe that little things like wearing seat belts and air bags really do save lives, and I have good reason to believe.   

Brain Injury – No Longer the “Silent” Epidemic

Categories: Traumatic Brain Injury

For many Native American tribes, the brown bear is a symbol of courage, strength, protection, and life. On November 27, 2009, as I was getting dressed to go out to dinner with my husband Bruce Carmichael and friends, a thought ran through my head that I should wear my Native American bear pin, as I might need courage that evening. Where this feeling came from is unclear, but it certainly proved to be true

They Are Just Children…

Categories: CDC Injury Center, Violence Prevention

Dr. Linda Degutis, DrPH, MSN

"Encouraging safe, stable, and nurturing relationships between children and their parents or caregivers is like a vaccine against maltreatment, and its long-term consequences." - Dr. Linda C. Degutis, DrPH, MSN

Imagine the call – “5 Bravo 12 is coming in with an infant who has been shot.” Just when you think you’ve seen it all in the emergency department (ED), something else happens – something that you could not have imagined.   

The infant arrived at the ED in the arms of the paramedic who had responded to the scene, and who was trying to give him CPR, despite the bleeding from his wounds and the lack of any signs of life.  But, how else can you respond when you find an innocent 7-month-old child who is a victim of shots fired through a window?  The infant was killed, and his grandmother, who was also shot, was paralyzed. 

Stories of Injury and Violence Prevention: Celebrating the Past, Protecting the Future

Categories: CDC Injury Center, Home & Recreational Safety, Injury Response, Motor Vehicle Safety, Traumatic Brain Injury, Violence Prevention

CDC Injury Center 20 Years: Celebratin the past, protecting the future

Please visit the CDC Injury Center 20th Anniversary web site for toolkits, talking points, and other resources to help us commemorate our 20 years, and to spread the word about injury and violence prevention.

I have many stories that I could tell about injuries and violence, from both my professional and personal lives. One of my nephews was diagnosed with depression when he was in high school.  He was treated, eventually finished school, and graduated from college at the age of 25.  He was accepted to law school, but tragically, he died by suicide shortly after receiving his acceptance letter. Working in trauma and emergency care for many years, I saw the impacts that deaths and injuries had on families like mine.  These experiences compelled me to do something to prevent other families from suffering.  Being at CDC where so many people are dedicated to preventing these kinds of tragedies gives me an opportunity to ensure that fewer families will experience such loss and disruption. 

Prescription Drug Overdose in the United States: Blog Q&A

Categories: CDC Injury Center, Home & Recreational Safety

Photo: woman looking into medicine cabinet containing prescription drugsGuest blogger: Christopher M. Jones, PharmD, MPH, LCDR, U.S. Public Health Service

How big a problem is prescription drug overdose?

We see the country’s surging number of deaths involving prescription drugs as an epidemic. In 2008, the most recent year for which we have national figures, more than 36,000 people died of drug overdoses in the U.S., and more than 20,000 of these overdose deaths were from prescription drugs. We have seen this number steadily increase over the last decade.

Bullying is No Joke

Categories: CDC Injury Center, Violence Prevention

Zach Veach, race car driverHey guys, I’m Zach Veach and I’m 16 years old. For those of you who don’t know me, I am a race car driver for Andretti Autosport, Michael Andretti’s team. I’m a part of INDYCAR’s “Mazda Road to Indy” developmental system with a goal of racing in the Indy 500 in just a few short years. Racing has always been a dream of mine ever since I can remember. I’ve accomplished a lot in a race car, but what I’m most proud about is having the opportunity to help people, especially kids my age, who are just trying to follow their dreams like me!

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