When the outside temperature starts to warm up, EMS workers brace themselves and prepare for “trauma season.” Many of our summertime activities can become dangerous and could possibly result in a call to 911. EMS workers have to be prepared for each and every call they may encounter, which can be stressful and require a lot of work and research.
However, most EMS workers are aware of this and do their necessary prep work without having to be reminded. It can be an intense job, but they already know what they have to look forward to the beginning of summer. Here is a look at the top five summertime traumas.
1. Bicycling-related injuries. Bicycling can be fun, but it can also be dangerous. When you are sharing the road with a much bigger and faster car, things could end disastrously. Also, many children and adults fail to use the proper safety equipment, such as helmet and knee and elbow pads. This can make a simple injury become something far worse. In 2017 there were 450,000 bicycling related injuries. You may like to think that most of these injuries were in children; however, the biggest amount, upwards of 200,000, was for those in the 25 to 64 year age range. It is a way to believe that most bicycling injuries are minor, like bumps and bruises; however, we need to take the proper safety precautions to ensure our bike ride does not end with serious injuries.
2. Trampoline-related injuries. Most kids think that it is fun jumping on a trampoline and nothing could go wrong. However, this could not be further from the truth. Trampoline injuries are also common during the summer months. In 2017 there were more than 145,000 people seen in the ER due to trampoline-related injuries, and most of these visits were for those under the age of 15. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, 75% of all trampoline injuries occur when there is more than one person jumping at a time. So, just like bicycling, we need to remember that trampolines can be fun, but we need to take the necessary safety precautions to ensure that we are staying safe.
3. Burns. Did you know that grills cause thousands of fires and hundreds of injuries each year? Yes, it is another summertime top causes of injuries. Also adding to the summertime burn list is fireworks. According to a report in the Annals of Emergency Medicine, 10,000 Americans a year visit the ER because of firework-related injuries, and half of these injuries occurred near the beginning of July. Remember it can be fun grilling out with your family and shooting fireworks, but always play it safe to avoid any unnecessary injuries and trips to the ER.
4. Animal-related injuries. Animal-related injuries can include anything from bites, scratches, puncture wounds and other abrasions that may need medical treatment in some cases. If your patient is bitten by a snake, they may be unable to quickly tell you what type of snake it is. When dealing with a snake bite victim, you will need to prevent the poison from circulating. You will want to keep your patient still, warm and comfortable during transport. Use a spineboard to move the patient if you really do; you will find such equipment mortuary supplies stores. You will also want to remove any rings or other jewelry as swelling may happen. Remember summer can be fun, but we share the environment with numerous wild animals. And, you will need to treat these wild animals with respect and caution in order to be safe.
5. Aggravated assault. Summertime can bring on the nice outdoor activities, the sounds of children playing and a rise in some violent crimes. According to a report by the US Department of Justice, summertime brings a seasonal increase in household burglary and larceny as well as aggravated assault, rape and sexual assault. As an EMS worker, you have to be prepared for these kind of calls and treating patients that may be suffering from severe trauma. After an assault, you will find victims that have lost a lot of blood, and you must remember that even though it is hot outside, extreme blood loss can lead to the triple threat of hypothermia, coagulopathy and acidosis. So, you will need to be on your toes and ready to protect and care for any incoming trauma patients.
Summer can be fun, but we need to remember to stay safe. Many outdoor activities can be safe as long as we follow the proper safety precautions. We can easily enjoy all of our free time by staying safe and following all of the necessary safety precautions.