For Immediate Release:
May 18 , 2018
LONDON, Ontario – As the Victoria Day long weekend approaches, the Injury Prevention Team at London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) is reminding everyone to stay safe on our roadways. Despite better weather and improved road conditions, each year LHSC’s trauma room sees an increase in serious injuries between May to September, accounting for 40% of the total annual trauma cases.
“In 2017, from the Victoria Day weekend to the Labour Day weekend, LHSC treated almost 350 severe trauma patients, which is an alarming number,” said Amy Makish, Nurse Practitioner in the LHSC Trauma Program. “We are particularly concerned about the numbers of pedestrians and cyclists and motorcyclists - that we are seeing. These individuals are more vulnerable to severe trauma when involved in a crash, and the results can be devastating”.
There are a number of factors that contribute to a change in driving patterns through the warm weather months - children out of school, increased numbers of bikes and motorcycles on the roads, cottage and vacation travel, increases in traffic volumes – but these factors only emphasize the need for drivers to slow down, and pay closer attention to what is going on around them.
“Everyone has a role to play in creating safe roadways,” says Makish. “The warm weather fools people into thinking they can let their guard down, drive a little faster, and allow themselves to be distracted from the road. Pedestrians and cyclists need to remember that the rules of the road apply to them as well.”
Traumatic injuries are preventable and these safety tips can help to ensure that everyone remains safe while enjoying summer activities:
Driving Safety – Stay focused on the road. Do not allow yourself to become distracted while driving. Always drive sober. Plan ahead to ensure you have a safe way home. Look out for pedestrians, cyclists, children and other drivers—share the road, be courteous and respectful.
Cycling (Bicycle or Motorcycle) – Wear your gear - every time. It is the law in Ontario that children and adolescents, under the age of 18, must wear a bicycle helmet while riding a bicycle on roadways or sidewalks. Wear it right - A helmet should fit 2 fingers above the brow, the straps should be positioned in a “V’ formation around the ears and one finger should fit between the chin and the fastened strap. It is the law to wear a helmet when operating or riding on a motorcycle. A helmet is your best protection from a traumatic or even fatal brain injury.
LHSC’s Trauma Program would like you to stay out of our trauma room this weekend. Stay safe and have a wonderful long weekend.
**Amy Makish is available for media interviews on Friday, May 18, 10am-1pm. Please contact Kathy Leblanc to book**
About London Health Sciences Centre
London Health Sciences Centre has been at the forefront of medicine in Canada for 143 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 65 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:
Corporate Communications and Public Relations - London Health Sciences Centre
519-685-8500, ext. 74772 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Call LHSC Switchboard at 519-685-8500 and ask to page the communication consultant on-call