Vancouver Council to make school zones 24-7. Drivers across Vancouver will soon need to change their habits, after council approved several new traffic programs, including one that will make school and playground zones 30 kilometres per hour at all times.
STOP the Bleed Day BC
May 26, 2020 denotes the second annual Stop the Bleed® day in B.C. The goal of this day is to highlight the significant impact that Stop the Bleed® knowledge and training can play in saving lives and decreasing unnecessary death due to massive bleeding amongst British Columbians.
Although COVID-19 has temporarily halted our in-person training, it is still an opportunity to recognize the value in having this potentially lifesaving knowledge and providing citizens with the skill to respond appropriately when a major bleeding injury occurs. For the past several months, British Columbians have been successfully flattening the COVID-19 curve, but as we move into warmer months, the potential for traumatic injuries may increase across the province, as we start to engage in more physical activities. Ensuring that public is informed, educated and aware of these necessary skills can potentially save lives. Simple skills and use of low-technology tools such as our hands or simple gauze, to apply pressure or to pack a bleeding wound, can be very effective. Learning proper tourniquet use and how to safely apply a tourniquet can make a big difference and empower someone to save a life.
On May 26, TSBC encourages you to take the time to reflect upon what this means in your professional and personal lives, and opportunities to share within your communities. Share your expertise and empower your friends, families, colleagues and community partners. Consider a virtual training session. Plan a summer ‘socially-distant’ outdoor course in your hospital parking lot or at the local bike park.
For more information visit: STOP the Bleed
- A serology survey (blood testing) to help determine immunity across the population
- Planning for future waves in which identifying, containing and tracing are substantially strengthened through technology tools to enable integrated and coordinated information sharing
About the survey
- The survey is open to all British Columbians 18 years of age and older.
- The survey takes 10-15 minutes and can be done online on any tablet, computer or mobile device.
The Beginning of Trauma Season
Victoria Day long weekend is expected to remain the unofficial start of trauma season.
LONDON, Ontario – Each May, the Victoria Day long weekend typically marks the unofficial start of “trauma season” at London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC), and accounts for some of the busiest four months of the year. While the COVID-19 pandemic has put many of our lives and routines on hold, the holiday weekend is still anticipated to remain the start of trauma season.
“COVID-19 has changed so many things about how people are approaching their daily lives at the moment, but we don’t believe that will necessarily delay or offset the start of the summer trauma season,” says Jennifer Britton, Injury Prevention Specialist at London Health Sciences Centre. “This pandemic has allowed a break in our bustling city streets, but as a result, we have seen a steep increase in street-racing and risky driving behaviours. We can also expect that people may not be taking the right precautions to prevent injuries as they look to spend more time outdoors, particularly if they are using this time to take up a new activity.”
This holiday weekend, as summer unofficially kicks off, LHSC’s Injury Prevention team would like to remind everyone that the majority of injuries are preventable and a few safety tips can ensure that everyone keeps safe while enjoying activities outdoors:
Safe driving – Remain focused on the driving task. Do not allow yourself to become distracted while driving. When you are out on the road, please consider the other users, especially those who are more vulnerable (pedestrians, cyclists), always drive sober, and be sure to obey the speed limits.
Wheeled activities (bicycling, rollerblading, skateboarding) – Wear the gear – every time. Although it is the law in Ontario that children and adolescents, under the age of 18, must wear a bicycle helmet while riding a bicycle on roadways or sidewalks, we recommend all adults also wear a helmet to protect their brain. Wear it right – A helmet should fit 2 fingers above the brow, the straps should be positioned in a “V’ formation around the ears and one finger should fit between the chin and the fastened strap.
Yard work – Never allow children or pets in the yard while you are using power tools. This includes a lawn mower (riding or push), weed whacker, edger, hedge clippers, chainsaw, or any dangerous cutting machine. While using a ladder, have a spotter and only have one person on the ladder at a time.
Water safety – Keep your family safe by supervising children in and around the water. Keep them within sight and arms’ reach. Make sure young children and novice swimmers wear personal flotation devices at all times. When boating season begins, alcohol should never be a part of it.
Last summer there were 291 severe trauma patients treated at LHSC between the May and September long weekends.
“With the warmer weather approaching, people will understandably be eager to get outside and regain some normalcy to their daily lives,” says Britton. “Our Trauma Program is asking everyone to use good judgement and discretion when making decisions that have an element of risk involved.”
The Trauma Program wishes everyone a safe and enjoyable Victoria Day weekend.
For more information, please visit: LHSC
Canada Road Safety Week: Shifting Gears
Today marks the beginning of Canada Road Safety Week, a 7-day national campaign aimed at making Canada’s roads the safest in the world. This annual awareness campaign is designed to increase public compliance with safe driving measures in order to save lives and reduce injuries on Canada’s roads.
The focus of this campaign continues to be on behaviours that put drivers, passengers, pedestrians and other vulnerable road users at risk. Despite the fact that most drivers claim to be aware of the laws and regulations related to impaired driving, distracted driving and aggressive driving, many do not appear to fully understand the various behaviours that define each of these infractions and, if they do, some continue to break the rules. This is why this year’s campaign theme is about “Shifting Gears”. We are encouraging Canadians to “think differently” about problematic driving behaviours by broadening their understanding of the rules. We are also inviting them to acknowledge the bad habits they may not have realized they had and to “change their driving behaviours” accordingly.
According to the Canadian Motor Vehicle Traffic Collision Statistics, 2018:
1. In 2018, the number of motor vehicle fatalities in Canada was 1,922, up 3.6% from 2017 (1,856).
2. In 2018, there were 9,494 serious injuries due to motor vehicle collisions in Canada, down 6.1% from 2017 (10,107).
3. In 2018, the number of fatalities per 100,000 population increased slightly to 5.2 (from 5.0 in 2017), yet it is still the second lowest on record.
4. In 2018, the number of fatalities per billion vehicle kilometers travelled increased slightly to 4.9 (from 4.8 in 2017), also the second lowest recorded.
For more information please visit: Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police
Safe Surgical Care Course
Healthcare providers are invited to join a free online course created by VGH trauma surgeon, Dr. Emilie Joos, on surgical care during pandemics. Highly relevant for anyone involved in trauma care in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This course aims to inform surgical teams of the risk during pandemics, prepare them to respond appropriately, give them tools to ensure their safety, build pathways to maintain specific surgical services and anticipate and mitigate long term impacts. When appropriate, real life case studies, and clinical examples are provided. Examples and case studies are drawn from the ongoing SARS-CoV2 pandemic, but also from past events like the SARS outbreak in 2003 and the Ebola outbreak in 2014. Where possible, relevant discussion of implications to low versus high resource settings are integrated into the course material. Course features include clinician interviews highlighting different aspects of surgical care during a pandemic, interactive quizzes, case studies, video lectures, and curated resources.
Target audience: Healthcare providers involved in the delivery of surgical care in both high and low resource settings, including, but not limited to: surgeons (all specialties), anesthesiologists, physicians with surgical skills (family physicians, clinical and medical officers), surgery and anesthesia trainees, operating room (OR) nurses, operating room (OR) technicians, respiratory therapists, perfusionists, occupational therapists, physiotherapists.
Format: This course is delivered in an online format over 5 weeks and can be completed at the surgical provider’s own pace. The instructors are available on an ad hoc basis through email, but may take some time to respond given responsibilities for provision of clinical care. It is expected to take approximately 3-4 hours per module to review all the material, depending on time spent on additional readings.
- MODULE 1: WHAT A SURGEON SHOULD KNOW ABOUT PANDEMICS—Launch Tuesday, April 28, 2020
- MODULE 2: SURGICAL SURGE RESPONSE FOR PANDEMICS—Available May 5, 2020
- MODULE 3: PROTECTION OF SURGICAL HEALTHCARE WORKERS—Available May 12, 2020
- MODULE 4: DEFINING AND MAINTAINING ESSENTIAL SERVICES—Available May 19, 2020
- MODULE 5: GLOBAL IMPACT AND ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS—Available May 26, 2020
For more information, please visit: UBC Continuing Professional Development
Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month
The Government of British Columbia has proclaimed May as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, and asks all drivers to pay special attention when sharing the road with motorcyclists.
As the weather turns warmer and drier, motorcycle riders are tuning engines, shining chrome and heading out on scenic rides.
It is important for all drivers to be aware of more motorcyclists on the road and to watch carefully, especially at night or in bad weather conditions.
To safely share the road with motorcyclists, drivers are asked to allow at least three to four seconds of following distance when behind a motorcycle and give plenty of lane space when passing. Motorcycles are often closer than they seem. Since it can be difficult to tell how fast they are moving, be prepared to yield.
The majority of crashes involving motorcycles happen at intersections. Drivers should scan intersections carefully, especially when turning left. Riders should adjust their lane position and reduce speed when approaching an intersection, so there is time to stop if needed.
Motorcyclists can take steps to better protect themselves. Motorcycle riders and their passengers should wear “all the gear, all the time” in all weather conditions. This includes a helmet with a full-face visor, leather or heavy fabric jacket and heavy, over-the-ankle boots. Wearing proper motorcycle safety gear is key to preventing severe injuries if a crash occurs.
Spring weather can mean more wildlife wandering on or near highways and roads. All drivers and riders are reminded to watch carefully for wildlife, especially when animals are most active from dusk to dawn.
Loud motorcycle exhausts can be disruptive to others, in both urban and rural areas. The Province asks all motorcyclists to enjoy their rides, while respecting regulations around excessive exhaust noise.
Road safety is everyone’s responsibility. Whether driving a motorcycle, a passenger vehicle or commercial truck, or walking or riding a bike, people are asked to respect the rules of the road and consider the safety of other road users.
May is National Trauma Awareness Month – Distracted to Death: Pay Attention or Pay the Price
The month of May is designated as National Trauma Awareness Month (NTAM) and various organizations have come together to develop injury prevention and trauma awareness materials for all.
This year’s focus is “Distracted to Death: Pay Attention or Pay the Price”.
Trauma is predictable and preventable, but what does that actually mean to us? Can we really do things that can change our risk of injury? If we can, what are examples of what is preventable? How can I implement in these practices into my daily life to keep myself and others safer?
Have you ever gotten in the car and driven to work when you were supposed to go to the store? How about forgetting the bank on the way home even with the checks sitting right there to remind you? We are all busier than ever, with multiple thoughts running through our minds at once and it is easy to lose our train of thought consistently. Add many devices and outside influences that distract us and it is easy to understand how one can be injured by this lack of attention.
Is lack of attention a distraction? “When people are distracted, they are not paying attention and fail to see the hazards, which can lead to injuries” (Morrison, 2013). Injuries are the leading cause of death and disability for our youngest citizens and time and time again we see that the injury could have been prevented if the person had been paying better attention.
So, what is a distraction? Our thoughts jump immediately to our phones, including:
- Texting while driving
- Texting while walking
- Just the phone itself
Distractions involve more than just cell phones. The multitasking brain can get in the way. Distractions pose a threat when someone forgets a child in the car, leaves the gate left open to a pool area, takes their eyes off the child in the bathtub, misses the crosswalk and signal as a pedestrian, or leaves their bag on a hot stove-top. We are all at risk in every part of our lives.
It is an opportunity to look globally at how people are injured and work to make meaningful changes.
For more information please visit: National Trauma Awareness Month 2020
For additional resources please visit: American Trauma Society
Alcohol Consumption During COVID-19
25% of Canadians (aged 35–54) and 21% of Canadians (aged 18–34) say they have increased the amount of alcohol they drink while spending more time at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. Only 10% of adults older than 54 say they have been drinking more alcohol since they began practicing social distancing and self-isolation.
These changes in drinking patterns have been uncovered by a new Nanos poll commissioned by the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA). The poll also found that the main reasons for the increase among those who report drinking more are a lack of regular schedule (51%), boredom (49%) and stress (44%). Overall, 94% of Canadians report they are currently staying at home more due to COVID-19.
Dr. Catherine Paradis, senior research and policy analyst at CCSA, provides a possible explanation for the increase. “The Canadian drinking culture is one where alcohol use serves as a boundary between weekday and weekend, work and leisure; it marks a ‘time out.’ With the ongoing threat of COVID-19, these boundaries have become blurred. Disrupted routine may be accompanied by loneliness and anxiety about the current situation. With the possibility that people are stocking up and there is more alcohol in the home than usual, some might drink more than they typically do.”
“This data validates what we have all been saying. Substance use increases during times of stress and anxiety,” explains Rita Notarandrea, CEO at CCSA. “Providing Canadians access to information about using alcohol or cannabis in safer ways is our primary goal during this challenging situation. We also want to increase awareness of other additional supports people can access, such as the Mental Health Commission of Canada’s resource hub, to help deal with the stress and anxiety that Canadians are currently feeling, which can contribute to their substance use.”
In response to these figures, CCSA is providing resources to reduce potential harms associated with increased alcohol consumption. COVID-19, Alcohol and Cannabis Use is an infographic outlining the risks associated with increased alcohol and cannabis use during the COVID-19 pandemic, including how it can affect your immune system and increase susceptibility to injury, as well as COVID-19.
For other trusted alcohol-related resources, please visit:
COVID 19 and Injury – Looking Out for Older Adults
On average, 52% of injuries requiring hospitalization among older adults in BC happen in the home. Ensuring a safe home environment for your parent and older loved ones is important.1
The Province of BC has expanded their 2-1-1 service for seniors. An operator is available 24/7 to provide information to older adults on the coronavirus pandemic, or for family members to seek help for an older relative.
- Pets, dim lighting, and loose rugs are fall risks in the home for older adults (65+ years old).
- Check on elderly family, friends, and neighbours during this time to see how they are coping and if they need anything (e.g., grocery or medication pickup).
- Assess your risk of falling or a loved one’s risk of falling with the Staying Independent Checklist.
- In order to cope with boredom, loneliness, or anxiety, older adults may use alcohol and other substances. As we age, our bodies process alcohol more slowly, we are more sensitive to the effects, and we are more likely to be on medication which can interact with alcohol, increasing risk of injury. Learn more with the Ministry of Health brochure.
The UBC Faculty of Medicine has some good advice on how to support seniors during this difficult time.
For more information please visit: BCIRPU