Intermountain Health


3 tips to help avoid a trip to the emergency room this summer

3 tips to help avoid a trip to the emergency room this summer
Posted at 1:40 PM, May 17, 2023

3 tips to help avoid a trip to the emergency room this summer

By its very nature, trauma occurs suddenly and unexpectedly, often with devastating results. Whether you’ve fallen and broken a bone or been in a car crash, fast access to medical attention from a qualified hospital or treatment center can mean the difference between life and death.

St. Vincent Healthcare proudly provides the highest level of lifesaving care in Montana. In fact, according to the most recent State of Montana Trauma Registry data, for two years in a row, more patients trusted St. Vincent with their trauma care than any other trauma center in Montana.

“Every year, we see over a thousand trauma patients come through our doors here at St. Vincent,” explained Barry McKenzie, MD, a trauma surgeon at St. Vincent Healthcare. “We see a significant increase during the summer months as kids are not in school and people are more active outside. And while we are always here, ready to care for you whenever you need us, we also want you to be as safe as possible.”

Knowing how to stay safe and using the right gear is key to having a safe and active summer. Here are three reminders to help avoid a trip to the emergency room:

Always wear a seat belt

Always wear a seat belt, even during short, across-town trips. July and August are routinely the deadliest times on the road. By wearing your seat belt, you increase your survival rate by 50-percent.

Always wear a helmet

Wearing a helmet on ATVs and motorcycles can be lifesaving and prevent traumatic brain injuries. Motorcycle helmets reduce the risk of head injury by 69% and reduce the risk of death by 42%. Remember, it is Montana law that anyone under the age 18 must wear a helmet while operating a 4-wheeler.

Never drive under the influence

Never drive or operate a vehicle, while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. At least 30% of car fatalities involve someone under the influence of drugs. Some studies have reported drug use played a factor in 50% of ATV/UTV use fatalities. Half of boating accidents involve alcohol use.

No matter how you spend your summer, it’s important to keep safety in mind, and if a mishap happens – come see us at St. Vincent where our mission is to help you live the healthiest life possible!

For more safety tips and information, visit