Trauma II

I’ve been absent, I apologize, but my last rotation in medical school has been a sub-internship in Trauma surgery. Aside from work, sleep, eating, and buying a house in Baltimore, blogging has necessarily suffered.

I will say a few things though that should be a public service message on the TV. People need to wear helmets when driving ATVs. I’m sorry I know I’m repeating myself. As before, I’d say any time your going faster than 10-15mph and not enclosed and belted in steel cage you should be wearing a helmet. That includes on bikes, on motorcycles, scooters, go-carts, ATVs, skis whatever. It’s just a damn shame when people who are otherwise healthy and independent hit their heads and end up permanently disabled, or seriously injured. We can put a lot of other stuff back together, but once you conk your noggin we’re a little bit helpless to do anything about it. And these days ATVs are replacing tractors as one of the most dangerous vehicles on farms, and are responsible for about 800 deaths a year and ~150,000 ER visits.

And how is it possible in this day and age people are driving around without their seat belts on? It’s just so stupid. It seems almost every seriously injured driver or passenger we get wasn’t wearing their seat belt.

I realize working at a level 1 trauma center I end up with a bit of selection in terms of the patient population. After all there are tons of accidents every day, lots of injuries in those accidents, and most are taken care of by local hospitals. We tend to get the most seriously injured, which tend to be the motorcyclists, the unrestrained drivers, and those unlucky enough to have done more serious injury. But it is disappointing to see anyone come into the ER after an accident where they weren’t wearing their seat belt. It’s such a simple intervention that really can make the difference between life and death.

So buckle up people.

This is my very last week of medical school. Regular blogging will resume after that.


  1. Tsu Dho Nimh

    Mark –
    Congratulations on surviving med school. Now it gets hard.

  2. Christine

    Congrats! I’ve got two more weeks of medical school, myself. Enjoy your time off before the craziness of intern year!

  3. featheredfrog

    C’mon! Helmets and seatbelts hurt the supplies of organs available for transplant. Making the CHOICE to not wear (or to not insist one’s children wear) protective gear is helping to move at least SOME stupid out of the gene pool. Where’s the bad?

  4. JustaTech

    What I’m amazed at is the number of people who let their young children play with ATVs and tractors. I have a friend who’s mother bought her 2-year-old a gas-powered ATV.

    After a first-grade classmate of mine was run over by her brother on a full-sized John Deere no-one’s parents let them ride in the tractor. Come on people, it’s not a toy. It’ll pull your arms off!

  5. Good Stuff! Doesn’t This looks like an awesome place to begin your academic program! The True Blue Campus at St. Georges University.

  6. My cousin recently survived a snowmobile accident that likely would have killed him had he not been wearing a helmet (was still badly hurt and spent 6 hours in the woods before he was found). These are dangerous pieces of machinery, they need to be treated with respect.

  7. This article should be read not by people who know how to use helmets and belts, but by those who don’t in the first place. The second target could be parents who can’t distinguish between fun and risky behaviour of their offsprings. Amen.

  8. Should motorists wear helmets?

  9. minimalist

    Some motorists I’ve seen should wear helmets 24/7. With chinstraps. And bibs to catch the drool.

  10. Very cool…

    internship will surely never kick your ass too hard.

    To quote orac’s corolary on a house of god law, “they can always hurt you more, but they cant stop the clock”

  11. llewelly

    Should motorists wear helmets?

    Only those who share roads with cell-phone users.

  12. Your article very interesting, I have introduced a lot of friends look at this article, the content of the articles there will be a lot of attractive people to appreciate, I have to thank you such an article.

  13. My mother did an internship in a trauma department in the 1950’s and strongly supported motorcycle and bicycle helemts after that experience – just like you. She bought me a helmet for bicycle riding in about 1974 – an ice hockey one, since there weren’t specialist bicycle ones available here at the time.

    Here in Melbourne, Australia, we pioneered compulsary seat belt and bicycle helmet laws. Almost everyone wears seat belts, and wears hemets on bicycles and motor bikes. It feels wrong and vulnerable when not wearing them.

    We also have no-fault personal injury cover for motor vehicle accidents (including car on bike) – you get lifetime medical care and income support, as necessary, in exchange for having rules that protect you from injury, reducing the community costs of the injury cover – a pretty good freedom vs benefit trade off in my opinion.

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