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Grant to help UNLV medical school study traffic-related injuries

UNLV’s School of Medicine received a $234,443 state public safety grant to examine traffic-related injuries and deaths in Nevada, university officials said Wednesday.

Medical school officials created a database that links crash data to information collected from trauma centers across the state from 2005 to 2015. The money will go toward adding information collected from 2016 and 2017 to that database, UNLV officials said.

“This data allows us to examine crashes and risk-taking behaviors in relation to hard medical costs and outcomes,” said Dr. Deborah Kuhls, a surgery professor at the UNLV School of Medicine.

So far, Kuhls and co-investigator Laura Gryder have found that teenage passengers have a 70 percent chance of not wearing a seat belt while sitting in the backseat of a vehicle, leading to longer and costlier hospital stays after a crash.

The database also shows that 29 percent of pedestrian crash patients taken to a trauma center were crossing the street improperly, spent more time in the hospital and accrued significantly higher hospital costs of $113,475 compared with $52,727 accrued by pedestrians who were struck while using a crosswalk.

Contact Art Marroquin at amarroquin@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0336. Find @AMarroquin_LV on Twitter.

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