Operation CeaseFire–New Orleans: An infectious disease model for addressing community recidivism from penetrating trauma

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Abstract

BACKGROUND

CeaseFire, using an infectious disease approach, addresses violence by partnering hospital resources with the community by providing violence interruption and community-based services for an area roughly composed of a single city zip code (70113). Community-based violence interrupters start in the trauma center from the moment penetrating trauma occurs, through hospital stay, and in the community after release. This study interprets statistics from this pilot program, begun May 2012. We hypothesize a decrease in penetrating trauma rates in the target area compared with others after program implementation.

METHODS

This was a 3-year prospective data collection of trauma registry from May 2010 to May 2013. All intentional, target area, penetrating trauma treated at our Level I trauma center received immediate activation of CeaseFire personnel. Incidences of violent trauma and rates of change, by zip code, were compared with the same period for 2 years before implementation.

RESULTS

During this period, the yearly incidence of penetrating trauma in Orleans Parish increased. Four of the highest rates were found in adjacent zip codes: 70112, 70113, 70119, and 70125. Average rates per 100,000 were 722.7, 523.6, 286.4, and 248, respectively. These areas represent four of the six zip codes citywide that saw year-to-year increases in violent trauma during this period. Zip 70113 saw a lower rate of rise in trauma compared with 70112 and a higher but comparable rise compared with that of 70119 and 70125.

CONCLUSION

Hospital-based intervention programs that partner with culturally appropriate personnel and resources outside the institution walls have potential to have meaningful impact over the long term. While few conclusions of the effect of such a program can be drawn in a 12-month period, we anticipate long-term changes in the numbers of penetrating injuries in the target area and in the rest of the city as this program expands.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE

Therapeutic study, level IV.

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