Green Bay – As hunters take to the woods, marshes and fields across Wisconsin for the traditional nine-day deer hunt in November, HSHS St. Vincent Hospital, HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital Medical Center and Prevea Health ask all to keep health and safety top of mind.
Injuries and life-threatening conditions bring deer hunters to emergency departments at HSHS St. Mary’s and HSHS St. Vincent, a Level II Trauma Center, every year. Some of the most common injuries associated with hunting are heart attacks, and broken bones and back injuries related to falls from tree stands. According to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, tree stand falls are more common than gun-related injuries and deaths for hunters.
Dr. Sumon Bhattacharjee, neurosurgeon at Prevea Health, specializes in the treatment of spinal injuries and sees first-hand the devastating impacts of tree stand falls. “Over the years I have treated hunters for concussions, blood clots, spinal fractures and broken spines resulting from falls from tree stands,” says Dr. Bhattacharjee. “Many of these injuries can be treated with surgery and long-term recovery plans, but often these patients have permanent damage to their spine and brain which completely changes their lives. I strongly encourage hunters be extremely careful and take all necessary steps to prevent these kinds of injuries.”
Other injuries can occur when hunters do not recognize health-related warning signs and/or venture into the woods unprepared. Dr. Kyle McCarty, Emergency Medicine Director and physician at HSHS St. Vincent and St. Mary’s Hospitals, says undiagnosed heart disease, overexerting one’s-self beyond their limits and being unprepared for the weather can be dangerous.
“Cell phones and hunting partners can serve as a lifeline when health-related injuries occur in the heart of the woods,” said Dr. McCarty. “Whether a hunter accidently cuts themselves, experiences chest pains or happens to twist their ankle – being able to ask for help is critical. The seriousness of these injuries can only get worse when a hunter finds themself unable to get help because they ventured out alone or didn’t bring along a cell phone.”
Additional health and safety tips for hunters include:
- Always wearing fall-restraint harnesses while in trees
- Maintaining 3-points of contact with trees at all times while climbing
- Bringing a first-aid kit along on hunts to deal with potential injuries
- Taking intermittent breaks while hiking, dragging, and processing deer to decrease risks of a heart attack
- Packing dry clothes, rain gear and wearing layers to help prevent the risk of experiencing hypothermia
- Maintaining proper ventilation when using propane heat inside of cabins and enclosed deer stands to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning
For more information about deer hunting health and safety, please visit: https://www.prevea.com/wellness-hub/blog-details/prevea-blog/2022/07/15/hunting-season-safety-tips
About HSHS St. Vincent Hospital and HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital Medical Center
HSHS St. Vincent Hospital and HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital Medical Center have been delivering quality health care to Green Bay and its surrounding communities since 1888. With HSHS St. Vincent being the largest tertiary care hospital and HSHS St. Mary’s location on Green Bay’s west side, patients from Northeastern Wisconsin and Upper Michigan benefit from a comprehensive range of services that include cancer care, women’s services, emergency and trauma care, preventive care across the lifespan, digestive health, orthopedic, cardiac care, neurosciences, rehabilitation and pediatrics. Affiliates of Hospital Sisters Health System, the hospitals’ primary purpose is to continue Christ’s healing love through the delivery of competent and compassionate health care in an environment sensitive to the needs of all people. Both hospitals are accredited by the Joint Commission of Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations.
About Hospital Sisters Health System
Hospital Sisters Health System’s (HSHS) mission is to reveal and embody Christ’s healing love for all people through our high quality, Franciscan health care ministry. HSHS provides state-of-the-art health care to our patients and is dedicated to serving all people, especially the most vulnerable, at each of our 15 Local Systems and physician practices in Illinois (Breese, Decatur, Effingham, Greenville, Highland, Litchfield, O’Fallon, Shelbyville and Springfield) and Wisconsin (Chippewa Falls, Eau Claire, Oconto Falls, Sheboygan, and two in Green Bay). HSHS is sponsored by Hospital Sisters Ministries, and Hospital Sisters of St. Francis is the founding institute. For more information about HSHS, visit www.hshs.org. For more information about Hospital Sisters of St. Francis, visit www.hospitalsisters.org.
About Prevea Health
Founded in Green Bay, Wis. in 1996, Prevea Health is a health care organization that provides high-quality, primary and specialty health care in 80+ locations across northern, eastern and western Wisconsin in clinic and hospital settings. It is partnered with six Hospital Sisters Health System (HSHS) hospitals across Wisconsin to provide patients a system of highly-coordinated care, close to home: HSHS St. Vincent Hospital and HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital Medical Center in Green Bay; HSHS St. Nicholas Hospital in Sheboygan; HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital in Oconto Falls; HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital in Eau Claire; and HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital in Chippewa Falls. For more information, visit www.prevea.com.