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Orange Regional Medical Center urges caution to help avoid serious head injuries this summer


July 2, 2014

MIDDLETOWN, NY — Orange Regional Medical Center is asking local residents to exercise caution as they engage in the season’s warm weather activities.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, there are more than 2.5 million emergency department visits each year due to traumatic brain injury across the U.S. Outdoor sports and activities like skateboarding, bicycling and motorcycle riding can significantly increase the risk of suffering a traumatic head or brain injury. Even seasonal chores, like outdoor cleaning and home repairs, are associated with increased risks.

As the weather warms up and local residents begin to engage in more active and adventurous lifestyles, Orange Regional is urging everyone to take the proper precautions to avoid head injuries.

“Even mild head injuries may cause significant, long-term damage,” said Dr. Anuj Vohra, emergency department medical director for Orange Regional. “By and large, falls are the leading causes of traumatic brain injury. When we engage in activities that involve running, jumping, or climbing, we increase the chances of suffering from a fall or bodily collision. Even simple protective measures, like wearing a helmet while riding a bike, can prevent or dramatically reduce the severity of any head trauma resulting from a fall.”

Dr. Vohra advises community members to be aware of any situations putting them at greater risk of traumatic head injury, and to exercise caution when necessary. Such measures include always fastening seatbelts while in a motor vehicle, wearing the proper protective gear when skateboarding or riding a bicycle and having someone available to help steady ladders when engaging in repair or maintenance work at home.

“By recognizing the situations that put us at increased risk of head injury, we can work to minimize the number of injuries this summer,” said Dr. Vohra. “The number one thing people need to do is to take a moment and think about what safety measures are appropriate and logical for any given activity. It is still possible to enjoy engaging in warm weather activities while taking the right precautions, but it is almost impossible to enjoy these activities from a hospital bed.”

Orange Regional Medical Center, located in Middletown, is a member of the Greater Hudson Valley Health System. To learn more about the medical center, visit www.ormc.org.