Injury Prevention and Outreach Programs
To help reduce the number of traumatic injuries in our community, Spartanburg Medical Center offers a variety of no-cost injury prevention programs for people of all ages. These community-based programs take place in schools, community centers, churches and other locations, and provide participants with the knowledge and skills they need to stay safe.
SMC has been caring for the medical needs of the Spartanburg community for over 100 years, and we are proud to be designated as a verified Level I Trauma Center, which means that we provide the highest level of trauma care available - 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. However, we believe that most traumatic injuries are preventable, and we are committed to keeping our community safe and healthy through community education programs that address the most common traumatic injuries, including falls and traffic-related injuries.
Injury is the number-one cause of death for people ages 1 to 45 according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System is dedicated to preventing traumatic injuries and keeping young people safe.
The mission of ThinkFirst Spartanburg, a chapter of the ThinkFirst National Injury Prevention Foundation, is to prevent brain, spinal cord and other traumatic injuries through education, research and advocacy. These presentations are geared toward different age groups, from first graders through high school students, and are commonly given in classrooms, activity centers or during after-school programs.
The hour-long ThinkFirst program consist of three parts:
- Students watch a video of testimonies from survivors of brain and spinal cord injuries.
- A registered nurse or physical therapist explains the anatomy of the brain and spinal cord, the causes of injury, the effects of these injuries and how to prevent them.
- A local brain or spinal cord injury survivor will share their story as a Voice of Injury Prevention, explaining how their injury happened and how it has changed their life.
After a ThinkFirst presentation, students should have a better understanding about the importance of thinking first before making a decision that could lead to traumatic injury. (Group presentation)
Stop the Bleed
Minutes count! Someone who is severely bleeding can bleed to death in as little as five minutes, often before EMS can arrive . That’s why bleeding control is the purpose of STOP THE BLEED training. The 60 minute formal presentation is followed by hands-on practice to ensure that participants feel confident in their ability to STOP THE BLEED and save a life. (Group presentation)
Stay Active and Independent for Life (SAIL)
Falls in people ages 65 and older are among the most common injuries in our region. These falls can cause severe injuries, including complex bone fractures and brain bleeding. After falls, many seniors cannot continue to live an independent lifestyle.
The Stay Active & Independent for Life (SAIL) program uses an evidence-based approach toward preventing falls in older adults. This free fall prevention program includes a one-hour, twice-per-week group fitness class where all participants work at their own pace. Participants complete aerobic, strengthening, balance and flexibility exercises that help prevent falls and track their progress with baseline fitness tests. Participants also take home a workbook full of tips and information for creating a safer home environment. (Recurring class)
Any person over the age of 50, including those that use walkers or canes, can participate in the SAIL program. Participants can attend any class at any time, and should wear layered clothing and bring water. Always check with your doctor first to confirm that exercise is safe for you.
Senior Lifestyles and Injury Prevention (SLIP)
This free program, presented by the Trauma Injury Prevention & Outreach Coordinator, lasts between 20 minutes and an hour. The presentation can be at any community location and covers a wide range of fall prevention topics, including:
- How to create a safer home environment
- Lifestyle modifications
- Examples of exercises that can reduce the risk of falls
- Importance of routine yearly checkups with your family doctor and an eye doctor
At the end of the presentation, each participant receives a Fall Prevention Packet that includes tips on how to prevent falls at home, make decisions that reduce the risk of falls and other valuable information. (Group presentation)
Matter of Balance
Many older adults experience a debilitating fear of falling. People who develop this fear often limit their activities, which can result in physical weakness, making the risk of falling even greater. The Matter of Balance program is designed to conquer the fear of falling through cognitive restructuring in order to increase activity levels among older adults. This is a two-hour group class that meets once a week for 8 weeks. (Recurring class)