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How EIRMC responded to trauma patients after pickup crashes into passenger van


IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI) - Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center is one of only a handful of hospitals in the state equipped to handle trauma situations with multiple injuries.

This means the hospital was well-prepared for Saturday's accident that left six dead and 10 injured.

EIRMC cared for more than 1,800 trauma patients in the last year alone.

"Saturday's crash may be new for some people," said EIRMC trauma medical director Dr. Michael Lemon. "But it's kind of an old hat thing for us. We actually are constantly preparing for situations like Saturday. So, the fact that we get seven people at a time is something that we plan for. We drill for, we prepare for, and we're ready for."

The crash happened on the cusp of the "100 deadliest days of Summer." 

From June to August, the Idaho Transportation Department and regional hospitals track a spike in deadly car accident and other fatalities.

"Everybody around the nation wants to go to Yellowstone," Dr. Lemon said. "They want to go to Grand Teton National Park. They want to go to the sand dunes. They want to recreate in the mountains. And with an increase in population comes an increase in risk for running into people having trauma just as a happen chance."

Doctors at EIRMC repeat the age old advice of "buckling up" and taking safety seriously whenever you're having fun outside.

Even though they treat patients from all around the region, the majority come from EIRMC's own backyard.

"67% of our trauma patients are brought to us by ground ambulance from the immediate area right around Idaho Falls," Dr. Lemon said.

Despite how shocking Saturday's accident was, it did not trigger EIRMC's mass casualty response; Which would mean all hands on deck for the hospital.

"We are prepared for it constantly," Lemon said. "24 hours a day, seven days a week. once again, our hospital invests in a ton of resources for our trauma system so that we're ready for that right now, like, literally this second."

Article Topic Follows: Idaho

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Stephanie Lucas


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