Trauma season in full swing with arrival of Victoria Day long weekend

A photo of the Emergency Department entrance at Victoria Hospital on a sunny, spring or summer day.

May 17, 2024

The Victoria Day long weekend marks the unofficial start of the summer season with more people venturing out to enjoy the warmer weather. Some hit the road while others head out on the water or into their backyard to do a bit of home maintenance. While those activities can be lots of fun, they have the potential to lead to dangerous situations if safety isn’t made a priority.  

During last year’s trauma season, which typically runs from May 1 to September 30, LHSC’s Trauma Program cared for 562 seriously injured patients, a 16 per cent increase compared to the same period in 2022.

Motor vehicle collisions (MVCs) and falls remain the most common causes of injury, representing the primary cause of trauma in 43 per cent and 25 per cent of patients, respectively.  

With these figures in mind, the Trauma Program at LHSC has some advice on how to stay safe this summer. 

Drive sober and remember, seat belts save lives

Impaired and distracted driving as well as failure to wear seat belts are three major contributors to MVC-related traumas. If you plan on hitting the open road this summer, make sure safety remains your top priority.

  • Drive sober
  • Buckle up
  • Wear a helmet and safety equipment while riding all-terrain vehicles (ATVs)
  • Stay focused, set electronic devices to hands free mode and keep your eyes on the road
  • Keep an eye out for other motorists, especially motorcyclists

Make a safe splash on the water  

If you’re planning on enjoying time around water this summer, be sure to take precautions.  

  • When swimming...
    • Whether you’re in a pool, lake, river or ocean, don’t swim alone  
    • Be familiar with the body of water you are swimming in and if there are risks of undertow or rough waters
    • Make sure children are kept within arm’s reach of adults
  • When boating...
    • Stay sober
    • Make sure everyone on board has a personal flotation device (PFD) that fits properly  
    • Tell a trusted friend or loved one the route you plan to take and when you’ll be back

Stay alert during yardwork, home repairs  

The Trauma Program reported a 10 per cent increase in the number of falls between May and September of 2023 and the same period in 2022. If you have maintenance to do around the house, be sure to take the proper precautions to avoid injury.  

  • When using large or dangerous equipment...
    • Wear safety gear (glasses, helmets, gloves)
    • Stay focused
  • When using ladders...
    • Make sure ladders are properly erected
    • Watch out for overhead wires
    • Use caution on rooves or in trees

If you do need emergency medical attention, our emergency departments and Trauma Program at LHSC are here for you 24 hours a day, seven days a week with caring physicians and staff who are ready to help.

Team LHSC wishes you a safe and happy summer season!