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Hospitals across Grand Strand prep for more bikers Memorial weekend

Published: May. 23, 2022 at 6:40 PM EDT
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) -As Memorial Day approaches, hospitals are gearing up the best way they know as the revving of motorcycles continues to flow across the Grand Strand.

Every year, hospitals prepare for the wide range of events that kick off during the month of May.

“We want people to think twice before they make irrational decisions, said Chrissie Catlla, the Injury Prevention & Community Outreach Coordinator for Grand Strand Medical Center.

Events like Bike Week & BikeFest are the two that force hospitals to prepare for just about anything.

Some hospitals, like Grand Strand Medical Center, said the increase in visitor traffic has contributed to the increased number of trauma patients, now more than ever.

“We have seen quite a few trauma patients come in from motorcycle accidents that are significantly injured, and it is related to high speeds on motorcycles and usually these patients are usually unprotected,” said Catlla.

Although he couldn’t provide a number, one staff member told WMBF News that the influx of trauma patients throughout this month at Grand Strand Medical Center has topped previous numbers, since even before the pandemic.

“Studied year after year after year, is that the number of motorcycle-related crashes has been increasing, in particular, this last year, since COVID has now subsided somewhat,” said Antonio Pepe, the Trauma Medical Director.

While hospitals prepare for the frequent trauma visits, some staff members said they will continue to overstock supplies and have a full staff on hand.

“We’re ready, we’re prepared, we are always ready, anticipate high volumes this weekend,” said Catlla. “Our trauma center has the best staff around, and we are ready to receive these patients. We know there are going to be injuries, but we do want people to have fun when they come here.”

Injuries can range from the traumatic brain, pelvic, amputations, and even death due to motorcycle incidents.

“If we as a community, take the extra time to make sure we’re doing our part to be more motorcycle conscious and aware, we can have a safer environment for motorcyclists in particular,” said Pepe.

Other Hospitals across the Grand Strand have released statements regarding the increase in motorcycle-related incidents.

“Tidelands Health has a comprehensive strategy in place to support the health care needs of community residents and the many visitors our region attracts this time of year. Although we typically do not experience a significant increase in injuries or illnesses associated with Myrtle Beach Bike Week or Atlantic Beach Bikefest, we can quickly adjust staffing as needed to support our region’s health care needs.”

“Over the past three years, CMC has not seen a significant increase in patient volumes in the ED or trauma incidents during the Memorial holiday.”

Although it is a personal choice, staff have stressed the importance of helmets and proper body protection that could prevent a number of those outcomes.

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