By its very nature, trauma occurs suddenly and unexpectedly, often with devastating results. Whether you’ve fallen and broken a bone or been in a car crash, fast access to medical attention from a qualified hospital or treatment center can mean the difference between life and death.
St. James Healthcare proudly serves the people of southwest Montana as the only verified Level III Trauma Center in the region. The Level III verification means that the hospital has demonstrated an ability to provide prompt assessment, resuscitation, surgery, intensive care, and stabilization of injured patients and emergency operations. Including 24-hour immediate coverage by emergency medicine physicians, prompt availability of general surgeons and anesthesiologists.
“Every year, we see numerous trauma patients come through our doors here at St. James,” explained David Silk, MD, an Emergency Medicine physician at St. James Healthcare. “There is a significant increase during the summer months as kids are not in school and people are more active outside. And while we are always here, ready to care for you whenever you need us, we also want you to be as safe as possible.”
Knowing how to stay safe and using the right gear is key to having a safe and active summer. Here are three reminders to help avoid a trip to the emergency room:
Always wear a seat belt-
Always wear a seat belt, even during short, across-town trips. July and August are routinely the deadliest times on the road. By wearing your seat belt, you increase your survival rate by 50-percent.
Always wear a helmet-
Wearing a helmet on ATVs and motorcycles can be lifesaving and prevent traumatic brain injuries. Motorcycle helmets reduce the risk of head injury by 69% and reduce the risk of death by 42%. Remember, it is Montana law that anyone under the age 18 must wear a helmet while operating a 4-wheeler.
Never drive under the influence-
Never drive or operate a vehicle, while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. At least 30% of car fatalities involve someone under the influence of drugs. Some studies have reported drug use played a factor in 50% of ATV/UTV use fatalities. Half of boating accidents involve alcohol use.
No matter how you spend your summer, it’s important to keep safety in mind, and if a mishap happens do not hesitate to come to the emergency room.
For more safety tips and information, visit sclhealth.org/news/summer-safety-tips/.