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Victoria Day, the unofficial start of summer, is also the unofficial start of trauma season


For Immediate Release

May 16, 2014


LONDON, Ont. –LONDON, Ontario – Last summer there were more than 400 severe traumas treated at London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC), which accounts for 62 per cent of the annual total.

“Unfortunately Victoria Day long weekend triggers trauma season for LHSC,” says Jane Harrington, 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.”

The most prevalent cause of injury in 2013 was motor vehicle collisions, which accounted for more severe injuries than all other causes combined, followed by falls. 17 per cent of all traumas involve alcohol.

This holiday weekend, as summer kicks off, LHSC’s injury prevention team would like everyone to think twice and stay safe. Traumatic injuries are preventable and a few safety tips can ensure that everyone remains safe while enjoying summer activities:

Driving safety – Remain focused on the driving task. Do not allow yourself to become distracted while driving. Always drive sober. If you've been drinking, ask a sober friend for a ride or call a cab. If you're planning to drink, make sure you have a designated driver. 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. Frustration over traffic, taking that final work phone call or email, or “having a drink for the road” before you head out can have deadly consequences

Wheeled activities (bicycling, rollerblading, skateboarding) – Wear the 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.

Yard work – Never allow children or pets in the yard while you are using power tools. This includes a lawn mower (riding or push), weed whacker, edger, hedge clippers, chainsaw, or any dangerous cutting machine. While using a ladder, have a spotter and only have one person on the ladder at a time.

Water safety – Keep your family safe by supervising children in and around the water. Keep them within sight and arms’ reach. Make sure young children and weak swimmers wear personal flotation devices at all times. Alcohol should never be a part of boating.

LHSC’s Trauma Program would like you to stay out of our trauma room this weekend. Stay safe and have a wonderful long weekend.

About London Health Sciences Centre
London Health Sciences Centre has been at the forefront of medicine in Canada for 139 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


For media inquiries contact:

Marek Kubow

London Health Sciences Centre

Corporate Communications and Public Relations

519-685-8500, ext. 75155


After-hours assistance:

Call LHSC Switchboard at 519-685-8500 and ask to page the communication consultant on-call