PeaceHealth Southwest officials urge holiday safety to help reduce emergency visits

The increase in demand for emergency care is causing longer-than-normal wait times

Emergency visits have been surging for weeks at hospitals across the Pacific Northwest, and PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center is urging people to take extra caution to remain safe as we approach the holiday weekend.

Emergency visits have been surging for weeks at hospitals across the Pacific Northwest, and PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center is urging people to take extra caution to remain safe as we approach the holiday weekend. File photo
Emergency visits have been surging for weeks at hospitals across the Pacific Northwest, and PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center is urging people to take extra caution to remain safe as we approach the holiday weekend. File photo

“Our Emergency Department began seeing unusually high patient volumes in the early spring, and the numbers have been climbing into summer,” said Emergency Department Medical Director Jason Hanley, MD. “The arrival of this week’s unprecedented heat coincided with another surge in patients needing emergency medical care. Every emergency department in the Pacific Northwest is straining to meet the demand, and we are asking our community to help us by taking extra measures to stay safe.”

The increase in demand for emergency care is causing longer-than-normal wait times. “As Southwest Washington’s Level II Trauma Center we are regularly treating patients with life threatening injuries, and that can require patience as wait times may be longer for those with minor medical emergencies,” says Tracy Timmons, MD, Trauma Medical Director at PeaceHealth Southwest.

Dr. Timmons advises anyone spending time outdoors in the coming days to carry plenty of water and stay out of the sun during the warmer parts of the day to prevent dehydration or heat stroke. Those spending time on the water should wear a life vest and avoid the use of alcohol. 

“The use of fireworks has been banned in Clark County this 4th of July due to extreme dry conditions,” said Timmons. ” We strongly discourage the use of all fireworks this year.”

For more information about how you can protect yourself and your family this summer please visit https://www.peacehealth.org/sites/default/files/summer_safety_tips.pdf

About PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center:

PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center is a 450-bed facility located at 400 NE Mother Joseph Place in Vancouver, providing comprehensive specialty care for patients in southwest Washington. 

Visit online at peacehealth.org.

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