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Emergency Room Visits Increase in Summer Months

Updated: 05/25/2014 6:00 PM
Created: 05/25/2014 1:50 PM KSTP.com
By: Kate Renner

The lakes and the parks weren't the only busy place to be this weekend; your local emergency room sees an increase in the amount of patients during the summer months.

Last year, 125 children were admitted to the Region's Trauma Center after falling from windows, playgrounds, and trampolines.

Dr. Michael Zwank, an Emergency Medicine Physician at Regions Hospital, points out on an x-ray picture, a fracture that just ruined one patient's summer. The patient broke their wrist, falling while mowing the lawn.

Dr. Zwank says another lawn mowing accident this weekend killed a person who rolled their riding lawn mower.

Karen Swager says she dresses appropriately to cut her grass. "I do wear long jeans, socks and shoes," said Karen Swager of St. Paul.

Regions Hospital estimates a 15 percent increase in ER visits during the summer months.

"We probably (have) 20 or so more patients a day. We see enough extra patients a day that we staff an extra doctor in the summer," Dr. Zwank said.

Learning how to bike, 3-year-old Jayden Kai  Debruzzi is decked out in safety gear. "(We) bought a specific helmet that (we) knew would be safe," Chad Debruzzi said.

An average of 30 children are admitted to the Regions Level I Pediatric Trauma Center after bicycle crashes.

Boating and swimming accidents also rank high on the list. Dr. Zwank says it doesn't matter how deep the body of water is, if children are left unattended - even in just a few inches of water - it can be dangerous. 

"It's nice to be in a place where there are lifeguards watching, but that doesn't mean to let your own guard down," Dr. Michael Zwank said.

"Whenever he's at the YMCA, we take him to swimming lessons, and then in the bathtub we practice what we learned in the swimming pool," Chad Debruzzi said.

Preparation especially with kids helps prevent unnecessary worry this summer. 

Patients who suffer bicycle-related injuries while not wearing a helmet are given one by Regions Hospital for future use when they are discharged.


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