Orthopedic Trauma

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(Credit: St. Mary Medical Center)

(Credit: St. Mary Medical Center)

When Trauma surgeons and EMS workers are on the same page, the patient benefits. Dr. David Hardeski, an orthopedic trauma surgeon at St. Mary Medical Center says Emergency Medical Services workers are vital in relaying information from accident scenes to the hospital. They can tell the doctor if the patient lost consciousness, estimate bleeding loss, or identify severe injuries that may require surgery. They can also explain the speeds involved in a car accident, the trajectory of impact, and if seatbelts had been worn.

In the field, EMS workers can stop excessive bleeding by applying tourniquets, can immobilize orthopedic injuries and provide splinting for pain control. He says good pain management may reduce the need for narcotics, which helps in the patient’s respiratory status. In certain pelvic injuries, EMS workers can save lives by applying techniques to reduce the amount of blood loss and improve the outcome.

Dr. Hardeski admits this has been a challenging winter for people trying to navigate the ice and snow. Elderly patients especially those with a decrease in bone density, have suffered many breaks and sprains. Hips, ankles and wrists have been the main areas of injury. If you fall or suffer an injury, he urges you to seek medical attention. The sooner you begin treatment, the faster you will heal.