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Good Samaritan Medical Center Holiday Safety

December 11, 2014

Lafayette, Colo. – Dec. 11, 2014 – This time of year when many people are putting up lights, trees, and other holiday decorations for the Christmas season. Recently, Good Samaritan Medical Center (GSMC) has treated several patients in its emergency room for falling off ladders while getting into the holiday spirit.

"One patient had a head injury and another had devastating bilateral facial bone fractures, which will require a six- to 10-hour operation to repair," says Dr. Barry Platnick, trauma director at GSMC. "And there was a gentleman whose shin bone was broken and sticking out through the bottom of his foot."

Dr. Platnick offers a word of caution when using a ladder or step stool to get to those hard-to-reach places. While people will have to use a ladder at some point, there are ways to minimize an injury or fall:

  1. Make sure that your ladder is well set on the ground and that you have sturdy footing.
  2. Have someone else with you who can help stabilize the ladder and hand you tools or decorations.
  3. Don’t stand on the highest step: follow the warning sticker that says "DON’T STEP HERE."

Don’t take a small fall for granted – it could be serious. "It’s not like we're talking about falling down and going 'BOOM,' people can get hurt and they can die," says Platnick.

If you or someone you know experiences a fall or injury, the Level II Trauma Center at GSMC is well-equipped to handle the highest level of emergencies. In November, GSMC successfully passed its Level II Trauma recertification by the American College of Surgeons. Essentially, the verification process ensures that the hospital is in compliance with all standards set for providing the optimal care for highest level trauma patients.

To learn more about how our Level II Trauma Center benefits the community, visit www.goodsamaritancolorado.org.