Emergency sees slight up-tick in summer months

While the Tofino General Hospital’s emergency department sees a slight up-tick in action during the summer, winter is no cakewalk for lifesavers. Island Health communications and public relations manager Valerie Wilson told the Westerly News in an email last week that the

difference in hospital action between summer and winter is not what it used to be. “We are noticing that this trend is flattening with more visitors to the area in winter months for activities such as storm watching,” she said.

During the hospitals 2013-2014 fiscal year, the hospital was hit with 1,248 unscheduled visits from

June-September and 1,014 unscheduled visits from December-February.

This was a slight increase from the year before where 1,133 unscheduled visitors checked in between June-September and 1,000 between December-February.

While there is little change in numbers, Wilson noted the nature of medical needs

varies between the seasons.

“In summer the ED sees more patient presentations due (to) injuries as a result of recreational activities such as hiking and water sports, for example, shoulder injuries due to surfing and injuries related to seasonal activities such as campfire burns, resource industry and boating injuries, cycling and motorcycle

injuries,” she said.

“In the winter months we would tend to see visits related more so to winter seasonal illnesses such as, influenza and other respiratory illnesses, colds and slips and falls due to road/weather conditions.”

She added motor vehicle accidents and work place injuries occur year round.

Tofino’s emergency room

received 3,946 unscheduled patients in fiscal 2013-2014, a slight bump from 3,805 in 2012-2013 and 3,715 in 2011-2012.

The combined total number of visits in February and March this year, 543, was nearly identical to that same two-month span last year of 554, according to Wilson.

reporter@westerlynews.ca