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UK Trauma Center sees more falling victims as the population ages

Dr. Andrew Bernard
UK College of Medicine
Dr. Andrew Bernard

It may not be official, but the season for increased injuries is once again in play. Those injuries can come from a variety of activities.

Many injuries are not the result of an accident, but something that could be avoided. That’s according to Dr. Andrew Bernard, division chief of acute care surgery and trauma at UK HealthCare. He said the average age of a patient in UK’s Trauma Center is around 50. Bernard said injury statistics have changed.

“So really the most common reason to come to the Trauma Center is not a crash, it’s not a boating accident, it’s not a bicycle crash, although we see all those things. It’s not a gunshot wound. It’s falling down,” said Bernard.

Dr. Bernard noted advances in medicine have led to better treatment of those with diseases of the heart and kidneys, for instance. But he added as people age with these conditions, falling is still occurring.

Bernard said many injuries, however, are not the result of an accident. The Trauma Center physician said there are causes that can be prevented, such as distractions. Bernard said a car can present a major risk.

“You’re basically driving a missile down the roadway. And that missile can exploded with you in it or it can hit somebody else and hurt them, so keep your eyes on the road,” said Bernard.

Bernard said the lowest patient numbers in the UK Trauma Center are usually found in the lull of winter. He said the period from now into the early fall can mean double the number of patients. Bernard said some of the keys to injury prevention remain wearing a seatbelt, a helmet when on a motorcycle or bike, and no alcohol before driving.

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Stu has been reporting for WEKU for more than 35 years. His primary beat is Lexington/Fayette government.
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