Summer heat brings increased trauma injuries and ER visits

July 4, 2017: As the summer heats up, so do the number of calls to 911. Doctors and first responders say they see a significant spike in emergency calls during the summer.

As the summer heats up, so do the number of calls to 911.

"Over the last few years we've had a 10 percent increase per year," said Dr. Brian Daley with UT Medical's Critical Care and Trauma Surgery Unit.  "So we're up about 5,000 people per year which puts us in the top 10 for seeing people across the country."

In 2010 UT Medical Center recorded 64,686 emergency visits. Five years later in 2015, that number jumped by almost 20,000.

Rural Metro AMR sees the same increase in summer. Water safety becomes a top concern as more and more people head out to beat the heat in Tennessee's many lakes and rivers. 

"The CDC reports right now, 10 unintentional drowning deaths a day and of those, two of those are 14 and under," a representative from Rural Metro said. 

The ambulance service relies on a computer system when things get busy to get a heads up on when the next call might come.

"Computer automated dispatch that tells us where we can expect our next calls, so we shift our trucks using system status to get us closest to those calls," the Rural Metro representative said.

While much of this increase is due to more outdoor activities, older people make up a growing portion of trauma patients.

"It’s not people on ATV’s or motorcycles it's the elderly. As our population ages they become victims of trauma from simple things like falling,” Daley said.

UT Medical advises on helping anyone in your life who might be prone to falling and to check for tripping hazards in their home. Outside the home, boaters of all ages need a life jacket and should guard against serious burns by frequently reapplying sun screen.

You can find out more about preventing falls by visiting this website.

© 2017 WBIR.COM


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