Ohio Trauma Centers See Seasonal Patient Surge

Experts normally anticipate a surge in trauma patients from April to October


 
 

SUZANNE HOHOLIK, The Columbus Dispatch | | Wednesday, July 27, 2011


After being cooped up during the long, cold winter and wet spring, people couldn't wait to get outside this summer.

That's keeping local hospitals busy.

Central Ohio trauma centers report seeing more severely injured patients this year compared with 2010, especially during the past few months.

Experts normally anticipate a surge in trauma patients from April to October -- considered trauma season -- but this year has been even busier.

"When it gets cold, we hibernate," said Dr. Doug Paul, trauma director at Grant Medical Center. "In warm weather, we bike, swim, jump out of trees.

"And with hot weather, people start shooting each other."

The most-common trauma injury is falls, followed by vehicle crashes and then assaults, according to the Ohio Department of Public Safety.

Experts attribute this year's spike in part to central Ohio's population growth of about

14 percent during the past decade, but also to poor decisions.

"We're a mobile society, and people are doing the darndest things, like drinking beer, going up on the roof and deciding to cut a tree," Paul said.

Columbus has five trauma centers, and three are reporting increases.

Mount Carmel West hospital is reporting a 39 percent increase, Riverside Methodist Hospital said it has seen 9 percent more trauma patients this year, and Ohio State University has had a 6 percent increase.

The number of trauma patients so far this year is flat at Grant and down slightly at Nationwide Children's Hospital through June, but that's expected to change as the summer goes on.

"Our trauma numbers are pretty predictable ... July and August are our busiest months," said Kathy Haley, trauma-program coordinator at Children's.

Dr. Steven Steinberg, director of trauma at OSU Medical Center, said that last year was the busiest ever for his trauma center.

So far this year, he said, there's been an increase in patients coming by ambulance or private car and a 40 percent drop in those brought by helicopter.

"There's been a shift," he said. "Ambulance arrivals and EMS from scenes are up. So, despite the construction, EMS is fighting their way in here."

Ohio State is in the middle of a $1.1 billion expansion of the medical center.

Dr. Victor Dizon, trauma director at Mount Carmel West, credits his program's growth to education and outreach to EMS agencies, outlying hospitals and people in the community.

But he doesn't put much weight in focusing on increasing patient numbers.

"People put so much emphasis on volume, and volume can be a negative thing," Dizon said. "If you have too much volume, your system can't handle it.

"There needs to be a balance between volume and resources."



Copyright © 2013 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Terms and Conditions | Privacy Policy


Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: News, trauma center, hospital

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS





 

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Simulation-Based Assessment Facilitates Learning & Enhances Clinical Judgment

Simulation is an educational tool that can be used to develop and refine clinical skills of the student in a controlled environment before they progress to becoming practicing clinicians.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

REMSA Programs Helps Reduce Hospital Visits

Community paramedic effort goes into service.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

City Official Challenges San Francisco Fire Chief

Ambulance response times among problems noted by city supervisor.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Texas Ambulance Crash

Victoria ambulance collides with civilian vehicle.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Colorado Medics Ditch Pants for Kilts

“Real men do wear kilts.”
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

CO Leak at Illinois School

Girard incident sends over 130 to hospitals.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Hands On September 2014

Who gets thumbs up this month?
More >


Multimedia Thumb

NYC Sept. 11 Anniversary

View images from the ceremony at Ground Zero.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

VividTrac offered by Vivid Medical - EMS Today 2013

VividTrac, affordable high performance video intubation device.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

Sneak peek of customizable run forms & more.
Watch It >


More Product Videos >