How long have you been using AIS?
I started using AIS at the beginning of graduate school… in 2007! My first contact with AIS was at the University of Navarra in Spain. I had been working for four years at the department of collision analysis of a small company and, at that time, the only official injury scale used by the Spanish government was differentiating between fatalities, severe and slightly injured victims. During those years I realized how difficult it was to research on how to prevent road traffic injuries if you do not have a proper information system that tells you what is happening in real life. I know it sounds too evident, but this is -unfortunately- the current situation of many countries in the world.
What inspired you to obtain CAISS credentials?
Truth be said, I needed to be certified so that I could join the CAISS Board as the representative of the AAAM Board. So it was part of accepting to serve within one committee of AAAM that prompted me to take the exam and become certified. This is not very inspirational for others, I guess… But I can say now, that being certified has opened up the possibility of working closely with amazing professionals and of learning from them how to use AIS correctly. It can be compared to witnessing what is behind the scenes in a play: an opportunity of understanding better why AIS is the way it is. I highly recommend becoming certified even if coding is not one’s main activity, like in my case. It is an opportunity of becoming better educated about the scale and its uses.
What are your main areas of interest in the field of injury scoring?
My research focuses almost exclusively on motor vehicle injuries. Several international collision databases (such as NASS CDS in the USA or GIDAS in Germany) use AIS as the injury coding protocol. Understanding the injury pattern observed in real life is essential to start thinking about improving the design of vehicle safety systems.
What do you find most rewarding about working in this field?
One of the few things that really matter: saving lives. I think we need to repeat it to ourselves several times a day. This is what we do in the end. This is the mission of AAAM as an organization.
What do you hope to accomplish while on the AIS Certification Board?
I would like to witness an internationalization in the use of AIS. There are many countries in the world that are experimenting with rapid growth in motorization these days. I believe that if we can get them to adopt the use of AIS, we could start identifying policies and measures that would work at a global level and therefore save more lives.
What’s something about you (a fun fact) that not many people know?
Well… I am a very transparent person, so this is not a secret. But I love karaoke. And my karaoke practice has been always linked either to the AAAM Conference or to people I have known through AAAM. Now I am expanding my performances to other conferences like IRCOBI…
How do you think the field is changing and what trends do you see coming up on the horizon?
Thinking about transportation, I think we are in a time in which we are witnessing a tremendous opportunity of influencing how people will move in the next decades whether it is in automated cars, in space flights or in vehicles designed for personal mobility. I think these can be exciting times especially for the younger generations to be involved in a paradigm change about how we move around.
What advice would you give to someone interested in CAISS credentials?
To talk to a certified member to understand firsthand how useful it is to obtain the CAISS credentials for your own education. And to become involved in the organization. There are many opportunities to become an active member of a great professional community that will help your professional career but also your personal wellbeing (… remember karaoke!)
What’s one thing – either field-related or not – you learned in the last month?
I learned that if you are trying to learn how to sail (as it is my case), the sailing community uses a burn scale that does not make any sense. They should use the AIS coding. Anyone with contacts in the Sailing authority?