Drivers and motorcyclists urged to drive cautiously this summer Victoria Day is the unofficial start of Trauma Season

MEDIA RELEASE

For Immediate Release:
May 16, 2019

LONDON, Ontario – The ‘roar’ of motorcycle engines are being heard again as Canadians embrace the warmer weather and get ready to celebrate Victoria Day, the unofficial start of summer. The May long weekend also marks the unofficial start of trauma season for the Trauma Program at London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC), and the program’s busiest four months of the year.    

“Unfortunately the Victoria Day long weekend triggers trauma season for LHSC,” says Jennifer Lindsay, injury prevention specialist, LHSC. “Each year we see an increase in the number of severe injuries as the weather warms up and outdoor activities increase.” LHSC cared for 418 trauma patients (352 adult patients) between May and September last year, which accounts for 50 per cent of all traumas in 2018. 

That statistic is all too real for Frank Divinszki, and his wife Heather, whose lives were changed following Frank’s collision with a left turning pick-up truck while on his Harley-Davidson one evening in 2017. 

“Our life changed completely in a matter of seconds,” says Heather. 
Frank woke up at LHSC after being unconscious for nine days with injuries to his face and head, arm, leg, ribs, and heart despite having worn his protective helmet and visible clothing. He would spend the first month of his recovery at LHSC in the Critical Care Trauma Centre and then as an inpatient before being transferred to Woodstock General Hospital for nearly another two months. 

“We’re grateful for the care Frank received, particularly the LHSC nurses who took time to get to know Frank, and his preferences, such as favourite music, when caring for him,” says Heather.

“I’m still in rehab working on strengthening what can be strengthened and focused on recovery,” says Frank, who cannot yet return to work as a heavy equipment operator. “I’m asking that all motorists slow down, look twice and pay attention. Everyone has a responsibility to drive safely and be aware of their surroundings.”

Lindsay offers further safe driving tips for all motorists and motorcyclists: 

  • Always wear approved safety-rated motorcycle helmet
  • Wear bright colours to make yourself visible
  • Drivers be aware motorcyclists are back out on the roads, double check your blind spots
  • Impaired is Impaired – plan for an alternate ride if you are going to be consuming alcohol or using drugs

“As trauma season begins, the need for a stable blood supply to care for trauma patients can increase. If you’re able, consider donating blood,” adds Lindsay. “We want everyone to have a safe long weekend and summer, and practicing safe driving can help you stay out of our trauma room.”

Frank and Heather Divinszki are available for interviews from 2 – 4 pm on Thursday, May 16. 

About London Health Sciences Centre
London Health Sciences Centre has been at the forefront of medicine in Canada for 144 years and offers the broadest range of specialized clinical services in Ontario. Building on the traditions of its founding hospitals to provide compassionate care in an academic teaching setting, London Health Sciences Centre is home to Children’s Hospital, University Hospital, Victoria Hospital, the Kidney Care Centre, two family medical centres, and two research institutes – Children’s Health Research Institute and Lawson Health Research Institute. As a leader in medical discovery and health research, London Health Sciences Centre has a history of over 70 international and national firsts and attracts top clinicians and researchers from around the world. As a regional referral centre, London Health Sciences Centre cares for the most medically complex patients including critically injured adults and children in southwestern Ontario and beyond. The hospital’s nearly 15,000 staff, physicians, students and volunteers provide care for more than one million patient visits a year. For more information visit www.lhsc.on.ca  


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For media inquiries contact:                            
Marek Kubow
Corporate Communications and Public Relations 
London Health Sciences Centre
519-685-8500, ext. 75155
Marek.Kubow@lhsc.on.ca

After-hours assistance: 
Call LHSC Switchboard at 519-685-8500 and ask to page the communicator on-call