Saskatoon emergency room doctors are joining a medical resident to raise awareness of the importance of wearing bike helmets to prevent serious injuries. They want bike helmet safety to “put them out of work.”
Dr. Emily Sullivan, a second year medical resident with the University of Saskatchewan’s College of Medicine, has been researching injury prevention with a focus on bicycle mishaps. Her findings combined with her work in Saskatoon’s emergency rooms have reinforced her desire to educate people on the importance of wearing bike helmets.
Only 22 per cent of cyclists wear bike helmets in Saskatchewan, compared to 37 per cent in the rest of Canada. Helmets can reduce the risk of head and brain injury by 85 per cent.
“It’s not unusual for us to have someone come in with some type of a head injury as a result of a bicycle mishap,” says Sullivan. “The injury can range from cuts and bruises to a traumatic brain injury that can have a person suffer long term symptoms like headaches, memory loss or depression, all of which could have been prevented by wearing a helmet.”
Sullivan and other emergency room doctors will wear scrubs with the message “Put me out of work. Wear your bike helmet.” as part of an awareness campaign in partnership with Saskatchewan Prevention Institute’s Bicycle Safety Week which runs May 12 to 18. On Monday May 12, emergency doctors are holding a Bike Helmet Day. They will be outside the three Saskatoon hospital emergency rooms to provide information and answer questions about head injury prevention and bicycle helmets. ThinkFirst Saskatoon Chapter and The Bike Doctor have generously donated some bike helmets which will be handed out to some families.
For more information about bicycle safety you can go to www.Saskbikesafety.ca, www.parachutecanada.org or www.ABIPartnership.sk.ca.