Dr. Reynolds encourages ATV riders to use caution
PIKEVILLE — Riding or operating an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) is a fun activity.
Too often, though, ATV accidents end up requiring a trip to the emergency department. It is important to be aware of proper safety measures to take while operating an ATV as well as knowing the signs of injury.
“The most common injuries I see as a physician is to the head and the arms,” Pikeville Medical Center Emergency Physician Dr. Cody Reynolds said. “Most accidents involve people getting thrown off of the vehicle.”
Dr. Reynolds said ATV riders sustain lots of abrasions and injuries to the head and neck, upper extremities and the body and lower extremities.
Riders across eastern Kentucky and southern West Virginia take advantage of the mountainous terrain, new trails opening and the opportunities provided, thus creating a rise in the amount of accidents.
“We’re seeing a shift nationally, and throughout the United States that it is a decrease in ATV accidents, but here locally we’re starting to see an increase in accidents,” Dr. Reynolds added.
Injuries are sustained depending on how individuals are riding the ATV and if riders are following safety advice.
“We absolutely, 100 percent, want to see those who suffer injuries in the emergency department. That is what we’re here for,” said Dr. Reynolds.
Dr. Reynolds added injuries can vary and may need treatment.
“It’s according to which body part that you injure. A traumatic brain injury is going to be a lot different than an injury to an arm. If you have an obvious deformity we want to see you. If you have fallen off and hit your head and lose consciousness or you’re experiencing vomiting and are concerned we want to see you in the emergency department. If you have an injury we want to be there for you,” Dr. Reynolds said.
Safety courses, following safety recommendations and wearing protective gear can reduce the risk of injury.
“Wear a helmet. That’s the one thing that can save your life. If you don’t have a helmet on and you get into just a minor altercation. If you fall off, the terrain here is rocky, it’s mountainous, anything can happen. Something as simple as just hitting your head can cause it to be something else,” he added.
Dr. Reynolds and the emergency department team are ready to address all ATV accidents.