SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – Summer is the season where people can travel and do activities outside, but that’s not the case for local hospitals.
Health officials deal with the summer trauma season due to the increasing visits people make to the emergency room.
“A higher rate of accidents, auto accidents would bring people into the emergency room. Also, people that are out and more physically active, doing things. Sporting events and things like that may put them at risk,” said Dr. Michael Kafka, UnityPoint Health – St. Luke’s.
Dr. Michael Kafka with UnityPoint Health – St. Luke’s said the increase in visits puts stress on hospitals to make sure there’s enough blood to treat patients.
He mentions there’s no preparation needed for the trauma season because the hospital is always ready and has a blood center supplying them.
“We try to make sure that there’s blood available at all times for every patient that needs it and every blood type. It’s something that’s really vital to the health of the community because there’s no substitute for blood, and you can’t make it in a lab,” said Clarie DeRoin, LifeServe Blood Center.
Clarie DeRoin, Community Relations Coordinator with LifeServe Blood Center, said they’re holding three blood drives in May because of the rise in need of blood for the summer.
“During the summer…we don’t have any schools open, and during the school season, colleges and high schools are a major donor base for us through mobile drives. They help maintain our blood drives during the school year, but that’s not available,” said Dr. Kafka.
DeRoin said LifeServe also goes to churches, businesses, and other organizations six days a week to collect as much blood as they can.
“When the people aren’t donating, but there’s an increase in need, that’s a bad equation. So, we tried to really let our donors and first-time donors, people who never donated, that this is a really good time to come on out,” said DeRoin.
Dr. Kafka said health officials dealing with the summer trauma season adds to them already having to take care of patients such as those fighting cancer and those who had elective surgeries.
“When trauma happens, you can’t wait 30 to 40 minutes that it may take to get blood coming from some other location and get it to the emergency room. The initial 15 to 30 minutes is really critical in being able to stabilize someone coming in with significant severe trauma,” said Dr. Michael Kafka, UnityPoint Health – St. Luke’s.
Dr. Kafka mentions the Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends can bring an extra amount of pressure dealing with injuries such as broken bones and cutting a major blood vessel.