May is Trauma Awareness Month

This May has been a very special and unusual month to bring awareness to Trauma and injury prevention under the global pandemic of COVID-19. Although most of the country has been under some degree of stay at home restrictions, traumatic injuries continue to occur. Maryland Trauma Centers are dedicated to providing information to help the public stay safe during this time. While Stay at Home and essential travel orders may be in place, this does not mean that injuries do not occur. Many people are taking this opportunity to cross things off of their home project to-do lists, children are finding new and inventive activities at home and in their neighborhoods, and much of our older population are finding themselves isolated and without the support they may have had prior to COVID-19. You may have also noticed that the speed on our highways seems to have increased, despite the fact that the legal speed limit has not changed.

Maryland Trauma Centers would like to remind everyone of some simple safety tips in recognition of Trauma Awareness Month. When working in and around your home, use the appropriate safety precautions. First, make sure you have a fully stocked first aid kit in your home! To make sure you’re prepared, click here!  Other important precautions include eye protection, gloves, always having a spotter when climbing ladders and know what you are doing before you do it. If you are unsure, consult or hire a professional. When working outside, make sure you wear sunscreen, drink plenty of water and try to do your work in the morning or late afternoon and evening. Take a break in the mid-afternoon to avoid the hottest part of the day. There are many resources for home improvement safety, dependent on your project, please do your research before you start.

Please remember the speed limits on Maryland roadways HAS NOT CHANGED! Drive safe, don’t be distracted, slow down, save a life. For more information on highway safety, please visit the Maryland Department of Transportation Highway Safety Resource Center

With the possibility of children being home more this summer, it is imperative you take extra precautions to ensure your children are safe. Maryland TraumaNet and the Johns Hopkins Pediatric Trauma and Burn Center have compiled these easy to follow steps to help keep your children safe from injury this summer. Click here for more information on Stay at Home Child Safety.

Lastly, please remember that hospitals are open to care for you. Do not let the fear of contracting COVID-19 keep you from the hospital if you believe you are sick or injured. Many illnesses and injuries must be cared for in an immediate time frame. Trauma, heart attacks, stroke and infections all must be treated by a medical professional as quickly as possible to prevent long term disability or even death. Maryland hospitals have taken extreme precautions to ensure the safety of all those who need care and treatment. Hospitals have set up separate triage areas for those who have COVID symptoms and have separate hospital units dedicated to COVID-19 treatment. This separates and protects those who are seeking care to ensure they are safe from the virus. Do not hesitate, time does matter!

You can check out Beatrice C. Brathwaite, Senior Injury Prevention Coordinator at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center Division of Pediatrics Trauma & Burn, and Dr. Brandon Bruns, accociate professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and Chief of Trauma at UM Prince George’s Hospital Center, discuss more about injury prevention during the COVID-19 pandemic on WMAR Midday Maryland.

For continuing safety information, trauma awareness, STOP THE BLEED classes and all things trauma, please continue check our website for updates. On behalf of the Maryland TraumaNet Executive team, have a safe and fun summer!

James Gannon MS, RN, CEN
Maryland TraumaNet, Communications Chair
Trauma Program Manager, Sinai Hospital of Baltimore

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