GSRMC gears up for Myrtle Beach bike week events

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - A local emergency medical center is reported to have dealt with the most trauma emergencies in the Palmetto state from July 2012 - June 2013. Some officials say bike week events contributed to the increase of dangerous incidents.

According to the South Carolina state trauma registry, Grand Strand Medical Center had the busiest trauma program in South Carolina from July 2012 - June 2013.

Officials are gearing up for the 75th Annual Myrtle Beach bike week events for 2014.

"It's our 'Super Bowl' for the trauma center," says Dr. Lewis Dickinson, a trauma medical director and surgeon at the hospital. Dickinson says the bike rallies kick off the beginning of their busiest season.

"Traditionally, we will see about 220 traumas a month, but the month of May, we are usually over 300," he said.

Hundreds of thousands of people flock to the Grand Strand every year for the spring rally and bike fest events.

The hospital says it sees all kinds of bike accidents during that time, and staff has to stay on its toes. Right now, the medical center is briefing staff, rearranging schedules and making sure communications with EMS are up to par. Normally, there's only one trauma director in house but during the events, an additional director will be on hand.

"We actually shorten the amount of time that the trauma surgeons are working, so that they are always fresh," says Dickinson. "We are running them in six-hour shifts rather than eight, twelve or even 24-hour shifts."

Last fiscal year, Grand Strand Medical Center saw 2,551 traumas -- more than any other trauma program in the state. GSRMC was followed by MUSC, Richland and Greenville.

The hospital is a Level 2 accredited trauma center, meaning it's nationally recognized for its work in the emergency room. Although the experts are confident in their ability to care for you, they say they want everyone to be safe.

"Be aware of your surroundings always. That goes for the motorcycle driver as well as the motorist in the car," says Dickinson.

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