Tag Archives: emergency

HCMC marks 25 years of Level I Trauma care

PrintIn 1989, Hennepin County Medical Center HCMC) was the first hospital in Minnesota – and one of the first in the country – to be verified by the American College of Surgeons (ACS) as a Level I Trauma Center.  This year the Level I Adult and Level I Pediatric Trauma Center marks its 25th year with this distinction. Continue reading

Cold truths about hypothermia

111960627Every Minnesotan is familiar with piling on coats, hats, mittens and other clothing to stay protected from the elements during the winter months. So far this year HCMC has treated at least 78 patients with complications from hypothermia – literally meaning “low (body) temperature.” No one plans to become hypothermic; car trouble, walking home from a party, or a slip and fall on the ice are just a few ways people inadvertently get over-exposed to the harsh cold.

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HCMC re-verified for Level I Trauma care

Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) has successfully achieved re-verification by the American College of Surgeons (ACS) as a Level I Adult Trauma Center and a Level I Pediatric Trauma Center.  HCMC was the first hospital in Minnesota to achieve this status, and in 2014 it will mark its 25th year as a Level I Trauma Center.

Dr. Arthur Ney

Dr. Arthur Ney

“HCMC’s dual verification ensures that we are able to provide the highest level of trauma care to patients of all ages, and allows us to keep families together,” explains  Dr. Arthur Ney, Trauma Medical Director of HCMC’s Trauma Services.  

“It takes a complex, professional team from the entire institution to ensure that every detail is addressed for each trauma patient. The site survey by the American College of Surgeons is an intense process and we appreciate the efforts from everyone at HCMC in meeting the requirements.  It’s always an honor to achieve re-verification.”

“HCMC has a long history of providing quality care to critically ill and injured children,” says Dr. Donavon Hess, Pediatric Trauma Medical Director of HCMC’s Pediatric Trauma Services. “The ACS pediatric reviewer was impressed with the high degree of injury acuity of our pediatric trauma patients, the coordinated care provided by all the specialty trauma services, and the exceptional outcomes of our patients.”

To be verified by the American College of Surgeons as a Level I Trauma Center, an institution is measured against national guidelines and standards of care that ensure that trauma centers provide an organized and systemic approach to the care of the injured patient. Essential elements include highly trained personnel, state-of-the-art facilities, and ongoing performance improvement activities.

“HCMC has a well-established culture of providing pediatric trauma care that is evident from the moment the child enters our doors until the time of discharge and follow-up care,” Dr. Hess continues. “My partners and I are happy to be providing comprehensive pediatric surgical services, including trauma, neonatal, acute care and elective surgery at HCMC.”

Hennepin County Medical Center is a comprehensive academic medical center and public teaching hospital with the largest emergency department in the state. In addition to the 462-bed acute care hospital and primary care and specialty clinics located in downtown Minneapolis, Hennepin offers primary care clinics in Minneapolis and suburban Hennepin County.

Safety tips for your 4th of July holiday

80408326We’ve waited for it all winter — and now summer is finally here! A long 4th of July holiday weekend with beautiful, sunny weather is expected.  While we anticipate fun at the lake, picnics, and celebrations — injuries can stop fun in its tracks.  Most injuries are entirely avoidable, so a little prevention goes a long way to help you keep you and your loved ones safe.

“Over the 4th of July, we often see injuries related to drinking too much alcohol,” explains Hennepin County Medical Center emergency physician Dr. James Miner. “But there’s also  summertime trauma like motorcycle and car accidents,  boating accidents, and fireworks injuries.  Of course we see more fireworks injuries over the 4th of July holiday than any other time of the year, and these are usually eye injuries and burns.”

Some simple precautions surrounding the use of fireworks can help keep you out of the emergency department:

  • Always have a bucket of water or hose handy.
  • Never give fireworks to young children.
  • Light fireworks a safe distance from people and flammables.
  • Never try to relight a dud.
  • Never carry fireworks in your pockets.
  • Place used firework pieces in a metal container and douse with water.

These safety tips and more are available on HCMC’s Outdoor Safety web page at hcmc.org/outdoors.  Have a safe, happy,  fun 4th of July weekend!

Verified since 1989 as a Level I Trauma Center for adult and pediatric patients, Hennepin County Medical Center is a comprehensive academic medical center and public teaching hospital with the largest emergency department in the state. In addition to the 462-bed acute care hospital and primary care and specialty clinics located in downtown Minneapolis, Hennepin offers primary care clinics in Minneapolis and suburban Hennepin County.

Notice of emergency medicine research study

The Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) Department of Emergency Medicine will be conducting a medical research study starting in Summer 2013. The purpose of this press release is to educate and notify the public of the study. This study is different than most other research studies because it involves a process called Exception from Informed Consent. Continue reading

Fracture vs. fun: playground injuries

Playground 6Like most 6-year-olds, Josephine Schoemer loves to play at the park on the swings, slides and monkey bars. But on Friday, April 26, a fun evening at the park  with her dad and sister turned into a trip to the emergency department.

Josephine’s mom, Cheyanne, was at work when she got the call. “My husband said she fell forward off the monkey bars and injured her arm, ” she explains, “so I told him to bring her on in.”

In addition to being a mom, Schoemer is an emergency department nurse at Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC), where children being brought to the ER with playground fractures is nothing unusual. “I just wasn’t expecting to see my daughter in our emergency department.”  An x-ray of Josephine’s arm revealed a fractured elbow from the fall.

Dr. Jackie Geissler

Dr. Jackie Geissler

“Kids — and adults — naturally try to brace themselves from falls by putting their hands out,” explains orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Jackie Geissler, who specializes in upper extremity injuries. “Falls are one of the leading causes of injury on playgrounds, and those injuries are usually fractures.  We see lots of broken  elbows, forearms, and wrists from playground falls.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control, emergency departments treat more than 200,000 children ages 14 and younger for playground-related injuries each year in the United States.  On public playgrounds, falls from climbing-type equipment account for a majority of the injuries. 

“Making sure that the equipment is age-appropriate for your child and well-maintained, and that the surface that children are playing on is safe will help avoid fractures, but there are other dangers as well,” said Dr. Geissler.

“One of the leading causes of death on playgrounds is strangulation,” explains Injury Prevention Specialist Julie Philbrook, RN. “Kids can get tangled on swings and rope-type equipment and actually suffocate.”

Philbrook also offers the following playground safety tips for parents:

  •  Actively supervise children on playgrounds.
  • The area under the equipment should have a shock-absorbing surfaces such as rubber, synthetic turf, sand, pea gravel, wood chips or mulch.
  • Teach children that pushing, shoving or crowding while on the playground can be dangerous.
  • Use equipment properly — slide feet first, don’t climb outside guardrails, no standing on swings, etc.
  • Never use playground equipment that’s wet because moisture makes the surfaces slippery.

These tips apply to home playgrounds as well, where most of the playground-related deaths tend to occur.

While little Josephine is glad to have her cast off so she can enjoy summer activities, she wasn’t too enthusiastic about a return to the monkey bars.

“I’m excited to go swimming,” she said.

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Severe weather preparedness tips from HCMC

Minnesota Severe Weather Awareness Week is April 16-20, 2012.  Emergency preparedness experts at Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) encourage you to take time to talk to your family, neighbors and co-workers about how you can prepare for severe weather events.

“Be sure you have identified a safe location within your home for family members to meet when storms are approaching,” explains Mark Lappe, Program Manager for Hennepin County Medical Center’s Emergency Management. “A  basement area with no windows is preferred. If you live in a mobile home or apartment discuss the safe meeting location with the management or landlord. In the event of damage to your home you should have a kit prepared that includes essential items.”

Lappe suggests that the following items be included in weather emergency kits :

  • A weather radio and flash lights with extra batteries
  • Bottled water and non perishable food items
  • Water sanitation supplies
  • Copies of all important documents and store them in a  secure location away from home
  • Extra cash
  • A list of all important numbers such as insurance policy numbers, drivers’ license, passport numbers, etc.
  • A “Go Bag” for each member of the family which includes clothes, medicines, toiletries and pastime items (books, cards, etc.)
  • Tennis shoes, helmet, car seat Continue reading