No Snow Days for Hospitals Update on Emergency and Surgery Departments
KANSAS CITY, Kan.— Injuries from one a single car accident is the only weather related trauma in The University of Kansas Hospital emergency room, so far today. The public is doing a better job at staying safe in the second blizzard to hit the greater Kansas City area in less than a week. While most of the metro stayed home during the latest snowfall, medical staff stayed overnight to care for hospital patients and keep scheduled surgeries on track. Thirty-six surgeries were performed Tuesday, including procedures that ranged from a living donor kidney transplant to complicated brain surgeries. Paul Camarata, MD, chair of neurosurgery, removed melanoma tumors from the brain of a 26-year-old woman flown from Liberal, Kan., to the hospital in advance of the storm.
CAUTION: Video contains graphic surgery footage.
Sixty surgeries were on the schedule again today, which is down from the norm that is closer to 75 procedures a day.
“Our employees understand the importance of their jobs in caring for our patients and keeping this hospital running during Mother Nature’s most difficult storms,” said Tammy Peterman, chief operating officer and chief nursing officer. “Injuries and illnesses don’t stop because of snow days, so we need to be here for patients.”
In many cases, the worst part of a snowstorm from a medical perspective is the day or two following the snowfall. Slips and falls on ice along with heart attacks from shoveling heavy snow lead to a significant increase in ER visits after a storm.
Emergency room physicians remind everyone to stay inside if possible during winter storms and when it comes time to dig out, consider hiring someone to do it if they are at risk for a heart attack. Additionally, doctors remind everyone to drink plenty of fluids. Weather events, cold or hot, can leave people dehydrated from extra exertion caused by the extreme temperature and in this case, snow.