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Friday May 18th, 2018

Posted at 9:36am

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This Victoria Day weekend, injury prevention specialists at Windsor Regional Hospital are reminding everyone to make safe and smart decisions to keep people out of hospital trauma rooms.

“Each year we see a substantial increase in the number of severe traumas beginning the Victoria Day long weekend,” says Diane Bradford, WRH’s Regional Trauma Program Manager. “As the warmer weather approaches and outdoor activities increase, this unfortunately results in the start of trauma season for WRH, and across the country.”

From last year’s May long weekend until the September long weekend, WRH treated 141 severe traumatically injured patients – about 40% of the annual total of trauma cases.

The most prevalent cause of injury in 2017 was motor vehicle collisions  which accounted for half of all severe traumas. Nearly 22% of severe traumas sustained through motor vehicle collisions involved motorcycles, and eight per cent involved cyclists.

According to the Ontario Provincial Police, in many cases these injuries were sustained while the motorcycle driver and cyclist were driving properly at the time of the crash. Moreover, of the accident patients tested for blood alcohol concentration, nearly 40 per cent were positive for consuming alcohol. Nearly 20% combined alcohol with other drugs, and over 60 per cent had drugs other than alcohol in their bodies.

The hospital offers these safety tips can help to ensure that everyone remains safe while enjoying summer activities:

Driving Safety:

  • Remain focused on the task of driving. Always!
  • Drive sober! If you have been drinking, ask a sober friend for a ride or call a cab. If you are planning to drink, make sure you have a designated driver. The number of incidents of motor vehicle collisions related to drug use is also on the rise. You need to be alert behind the wheel!
  • Look out for pedestrians, cyclists, children and other drivers—share the road, be courteous and respectful. On the long drive to the cottage or on the road to visit friends, please slow down, pay attention and share the road.
  • NO TEXTING! – That message can wait. No looking down at your phone and trying to message someone while you are on the road – even when you are at a stop light. Put the phone away!

Water Safety:

  • Drowning prevention: Active supervision of children when they are around or in the water, proper pool fencing, the use of lifejackets, adult training in first aid and CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and children’s swimming lessons can help prevent drowning.
  • Boating: Currently, Canadian laws require that recreational boats have one properly fitting lifejacket for every person on the boat. But there is no law requiring people to wear the lifejackets. Nine out of 10 people who drown in boating incidents are not wearing lifejackets. A lifejacket will only help keep you safe if you wear it. Make sure all children and adults wear a lifejacket when on a boat.

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