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Five Offroad Safety Reminders from Intermountain Health Trauma Experts That May Save A Life

Angie Stewart is registered nurse and trauma coordinator for Intermountain Sanpete Valley Hospital.

(PRUnderground) May 23rd, 2024

Trauma is the leading cause of death in the United States for those under the age of 46. The Intermountain West also has the fourth-highest traumatic brain injury hospitalization rate in the country for children ages five to 14 – and almost seven percent of those injuries involve motor vehicles, including ATVs.

With summer heating up, Intermountain Health trauma experts are reminding everyone about the importance of staying safe when recreating in off-highway vehicles (OHVs).

All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) are the most popular of the OHVs. The problem: when they’re not used properly, they can be very dangerous.

According to data from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were a total of 207 reported deaths from 1982-2011 in the state of Utah, with 159 reported deaths from 1982-2007 and 48 reported deaths from 2008-2011. Children under 16 accounted for 65 of the reported deaths from 1982-2007.

The dangers of riding ATVs are real, according to Intermountain trauma experts. Overturning, collisions, and ejection of the driver and riders are just some of the risks.

Clint Bean and his great-nephew, 8-year-old Kohen Clawson, know first-hand the dangers of ATV’s.

On Aug. 4, 2023, Bean and Clawson were riding in a side-by-side near Wales, when they rolled the vehicle, and both were ejected.

Clawson was wearing a Gizmo watch and despite being shattered, he was able to contact his mom.

Members of the volunteer North Sanpete Ambulance Association responded to the accident and got the two to Intermountain Sanpete Valley Hospital in Mt. Pleasant, Utah.

Trauma teams at Sanpete Valley Hospital discovered Clawson had pelvic fractures and transferred him to Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City via ambulance.

Bean needed to be stabilized first before being transported. He had sustained a brain bleed, multiple skull fractures, a broken eye socket, a broken collar bone, 20 broken ribs, a punctured lung, four broken vertebrae and a shattered femur.

Classic Air Helicopter trauma crews transferred Bean to Intermountain Utah Valley Hospital in Provo, where he underwent eight weeks of rehabilitation, which included re-learning how to walk.

“I don’t remember a lot about the accident,” said Bean. “But I am so grateful the right people were in the right place at the right time to help me get back on my feet.”

“Kohen likes to tell people he didn’t cry, that he was brave and did all things he was taught to do, like wearing a seatbelt,” said Alex Clawson, Kohen’s mother.

Intermountain Sanpete Valley Hospital is Level IV trauma center, which means the hospital can provide advanced trauma life support to patients while evaluating and stabilizing them before transferring patients to a higher-level trauma center.

“A Level IV trauma center meets strict criteria and is equipped to always be ready,” said Angie Stewart, RN, trauma coordinator for Intermountain Sevier Valley Hospital. “We are a popular recreation area, and we are trained and ready to provide the best care possible for trauma patients like Clint Bean and Kohen Clawson.”

And when dealing with traumas, time is of the essence.

“We often say, ‘Time is tissue,’ said Stewart. “Which really means that recognition, treatment, and transport are important in critically injured patients. The faster we can get these patients what they need, the more likely they will be to recover from their injuries.”

May is also National Trauma Awareness Month and Intermountain Health’s emergency medicine and trauma teams have five safety reminders to help everyone have a safe summer and help avoid a trip to the emergency room while riding an ATV:

  1. Always wear protective headgear: Many ATV injuries are head injuries. Wearing a helmet may prevent or reduce the severity of these injuries. In addition, wear over-the-ankle boots, goggles, gloves, long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt to protect against cuts, abrasions, and other injuries from rocks, trees, and other debris.
  2. Check your vehicle: Ensure it’s in good working condition.
  3. Stay alert and know the terrain: Watch for obstacles and hazards on the trail. Riders frequently get into trouble when operating an ATV in terrain such as steep and rocky slopes that they do not have the skill level to know that they need to shift their weight- which is a common cause of rollovers.
  4. Ride with a buddy: It’s safer and more enjoyable.
  5. Do not permit Children to Drive or Ride Adult ATV’s: Children are involved in about 30 percent of all ATV-related deaths and emergency room-treated injuries. Most of these deaths and injuries occur when a child is driving or riding on an adult ATV. Children younger than 16 are twice as likely to be injured on adult ATVs as compared to those riding youth ATVs.

Research has also shown that common causes of ATV accidents can be attributed to too much power, challenging and unfamiliar terrain, overloaded ATVs, and drug and alcohol use.

Call for help.

If you are injured this summer, do not delay care. If you have a medical emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency department.

About Intermountain Health

Headquartered in Utah with locations in seven states and additional operations across the western U.S., Intermountain Health is a nonprofit system of 33 hospitals, 385 clinics, medical groups with some 3,900 employed physicians and advanced care providers, a health plans division called Select Health with more than one million members, and other health services. Helping people live the healthiest lives possible, Intermountain is committed to improving community health and is widely recognized as a leader in transforming healthcare by using evidence-based best practices to consistently deliver high-quality outcomes at sustainable costs. For more information or updates, see

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