No holiday for Ontario medical staff as 'trauma season' starts
Winter might seem like a treacherous time, but it's the summer months that bring more people to hospital
The Victoria Day weekend is widely celebrated as the first opportunity to get out and enjoy the spring weather, but it also marks the start of what health care workers call "trauma season."
"We consider trauma season from May to September when more people are out on bicycles and in cars enjoying the weather," said London Health Science Centre trauma nurse practitioner Amy Makish.
She said most people think of winter, with its icy conditions, as a high volume period in hospital trauma units. But she said the statistics show otherwise.
"We have a trauma registry that goes across Canada and we see what other centres are dealing with and the trends are the same."
In 2017, London's trauma unit treated 350 severe patients, some of whom did not survive. There were thousands of others with serious injuries, mostly caused by car crashes, motorcycle and bicycle accidents.
"During trauma season, we get a lot of brain injuries, rib fractures, long bone fractures and it usually involves injuries to more than one part of the body," Makish said.
The message from doctors and nurses is simple: Slow down on the roads and wear a helmet.
"And if you're on a motorcycle, there's not a lot to protect your body, so the best you can do is prevent a traumatic brain injury."