Monday, May 26, 2008

A Day at the Beach

After a week in D.C. it was nice to come home to the sunny shores of the Gulf. Then came the return to work. The island was covered with people yesterday, and Gardner’s First Law* certainly applied. Yesterday I treated a wide range of vacation injuries, including:

4 jellyfish stings

12 lacerations
(from something in the water, the rocks near the water, the edge of the
pier,the barnacles on a boat)

10 falls
(from a bicycle, from the pier, from horsing around on the beach)

3 broken forearms
(horsing around on the beach, falling from bunk bed, playing at the
miniature golf)

2 sunburns
(Actually the acrimony between the two divorced parents was probably
more damaging to the children than the sunburn)

3 insect bites
(including one bee sting with an anaphylactic reaction)

(OK, maybe not typical, but still beach related)

3 fishhooks
(in various body parts)

1 finger amputation
(The entire finger…..from being in the wrong place at the wrong time at a
local water park)

1 pediatric penis strangulated after being caught in the mesh of a pair of swim trunks
(Don’t worry guys…after removal of the offending mesh, the prognosis is good.)

After a bad flu season this winter, it’s good to take care of some different complaints. It’s also good to see that people are out having a good time. Summer is officially here.

*Gardner’s First Law: Traffic in the emergency department is equal to traffic on the streets. Put differently, the number of visits to the ED is proportionate to the number of people who are out doing things.


Anonymous said...

Is traffic in the ER equal to traffic in the streets because of trauma?.....or does this apply to everything?

Angela Gardner, MD, FACEP said...

Best that I can tell, this is related to the number of people who are out doing things. Certainly the chances of a motor vehicle collision go up as the number of motorists rises, but the same applies to all activities. Odds are, the more people that are sailing, swimming, cooking out, even shopping, the greater chance that a mishap will occur.