It could be called the season of fire and water—July is when thousands of people, most often children and teens, are injured while using consumer fireworks. Despite the dangers of consumer fireworks, many disregard the associated risks, including devastating burns, hand injuries and other potentially catastrophic accidents.  And although summer’s extreme heat has momentarily abated in Kansas City, people still need to monitor water consumption to avoid dehydration, especially for the elderly and those active outdoors, caution Trauma Center Medical Center Medical Directors and Chief Executive Officers at HCA Midwest Health System. 

HCA Midwest Health System is Kansas City’s largest healthcare network and private-sector employer and also has the metro’s largest group of Level I, Level II and Level III Trauma Centers and emergency departments.  The five hospitals with emergency departments and accredited Trauma Centers include Research Medical Center, Level I; Overland Park Regional Medical Center, Level II; Centerpoint Medical Center, Level II; Belton Regional Medical Center, Level III; and Lee’s Summit Medical Center, Level III. Menorah Medical Center rounds out HCA Midwest Health System’s major emergency departments in the metro. 

In addition, Lafayette Regional Health Center in Lexington, Cass Regional Medical Center in Harrisonville and Allen County Regional Hospital in Iola are acute-care hospitals with 24-hour Emergency Departments. 

“HCA Midwest Health System’s emergency services are renowned in the region, with six major hospital-based emergency departments,” says Damond Boatwright, Chief Executive Officer, Overland Park Regional Medical Center.  “In addition to our accredited Trauma Centers, all of our Emergency Departments now have a computerized Physician Order Entry System to enhance our efficiencies. Our robust trauma services are even more important during holiday times and the summer when accidents due to mishandling of fireworks or conditions due to dehydration are prevalent.” 

“Holiday weekends are the busiest times in our Trauma Centers,” says Don Fishman, MD, Medical Director, Trauma Services at Overland Park Regional Medical Center.  “Prevention will have the greatest impact on avoiding the trauma associated with accidents and death. Traffic collisions and falls are the most common types of injuries treated at Overland Park Regional’s Level II Trauma Center.  While board-certified trauma physicians and Trauma Team Members are here to help in a moment’s notice, preventing accidents and falls will avoid a trip to our hospital.  We urge the public to drive safely, avoid texting and driving, and be aware of your surroundings.” 

“We encourage people to avoid the use of consumer fireworks and instead, enjoy displays of fireworks conducted by trained professionals all over the metro this Fourth of July,” says Stanley M. Augustin, MD, Trauma Services Medical Director at Centerpoint Medical Center in Independence.  “One of the most common injuries our trauma surgeons see this time of year is hand-related, when a firework accidentally explodes when someone sets it off.  Many of these injuries are debilitating and all are preventable.” 

“HCA Midwest Health System’s accredited Trauma Centers are an asset to the Kansas City area,” says Kevin J. Hicks, President and Chief Executive Officer, Research Medical Center.  “Our physicians, trauma surgeons, nurses and other healthcare professionals are committed to the highest quality patient care in emergency situations.” 

“Belton Regional Medical Center is proud to be part of the HCA Midwest Health System family of hospitals with accredited Trauma Centers,” says Todd Krass, Chief Executive Officer, Belton Regional Medical Center.  “It is another example of our community-based, patient-centered care.” 

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