Summer is a great time to hop on your all-terrain vehicle (ATV), blaze the trails and enjoy nature. Yet ATVs also can be very dangerous vehicles that, in an accident, may cause injury or, at worse, death. In fact, Pennsylvania leads the nation in the total number of deaths in ATV accidents.
So if you’re riding your ATV this weekend, Lehigh Valley Hospital–Hazleton’s trauma service reminds you to do this: wear a helmet. Studies show that doing so can reduce your risk for head injury in crashes by up to 85 percent. Read More
Every life is bound to include its share of difficult times, and some of those can be overwhelming. Health issues, emotional problems, trying personal situations – managing them can be a challenge. Each one can make you feel like you’re alone. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Support groups present the opportunity to share perspective with people facing situations similar to yours. What they have to say may be a source of comfort and therapy for you. What you have to say may offer the same for them. Read More
As you and your friends or family head out to enjoy activities during the winter season, it’s important to use your head – or more specifically, protect it. That’s the message Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) trauma and critical care surgeon Rovinder (Bob) Sandhu, MD, with Surgical Specialists of the Lehigh Valley – Allentown, wants to share. “In my line of work, I care for patients who have suffered some type of catastrophic injury,” he says. “While we can help restore many people to ‘near normal’ after they’ve sustained a serious injury, one of the most troubling injuries we encounter is a head injury.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a head injury or traumatic brain injury (TBI) is one of the leading causes of death and disability in the United States. In 2010 alone, 2.2 million people nationwide sought emergency care for TBI. This type of injury includes bumps, jolts or blows to the head or an injury that penetrates the skull. While TBI symptoms may eventually go away, this type of injury also may cause long-term damage, including memory or thinking impairment, personality change, or loss of vision or hearing.
Falling is the leading cause of head injuries. “Nationwide, falls are responsible for more than 40 percent of TBI emergencies, a rate of injury we also see here,” Sandhu says.
While falls are a year-round problem, during the winter you may encounter situations that put you at higher risk for a fall – and that’s where your advance awareness and preparation comes into play. Read More
Participants in a news conference Wednesday announcing the new IFAK were emergency medicine physician Jeff Kuklinski, DO; Deb Otto, director of donor resources for Miller-Keystone Blood Center; Mike Wargo, administrator for LVHN’s department of public safety and emergency operations; and Allentown Police Department officer Chris Hendricks.
Police chiefs and officers from Allentown, Bethlehem, South Whitehall Township and Salisbury Township gathered yesterday outside the Mattioli Trauma Center at Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest to demonstrate a new tool that will enhance the safety of our community.
In the coming weeks, every police officer and tactical medic in those four areas will receive this tool – called an IFAK (individual first-aid kid) – courtesy of Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN). Each IFAK, worn on an officer’s or medic’s belt or chest, includes a chest seal (for penetrating chest wounds), Israeli pressure bandage, QuikClot (to prevent hemorrhage) and a tourniquet (to stop bleeding).
“If we truly want to keep people healthy and safe, we have to give our first responders the tools they need to save not only their own lives, but potentially the lives of the people they are sworn to protect and serve,” says Mike Wargo, RN, administrator for LVHN’s department of public safety and emergency operations.
IFAKs can be used to assist an officer who needs care, to assist a fellow officer, or to help a civilian (or civilians) in a critical incident. In the case of a life-threatening incident, the tools inside the IFAK help to provide lifesaving care while providing extra time for emergency medical services (EMS) professionals to arrive on the scene.
Robert Barraco, MD, a board-certified critical care surgeon with Surgical Specialists of the Lehigh Valley, is passionate about taking care of patients in dire need.
“You have to establish that relationship very quickly and be able to give them your best at a time that may be their worst,” he says.
He also loves educating the community about injury prevention.
“It’s all about that relationship with the community, because that’s where injury prevention starts,” he says. “That’s where we can do our most, is in the community.”
Get to know him with this video.