“It’s very taxing physically and emotionally,” hospital staff prepare for bike rallies

trauma center

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – As of Friday evening, the South Carolina Highway Patrol investigated 20 motorcycle accidents and one fatality in Horry County since the spring bike rally began.

Many victims in those accidents go to the trauma center at Grand Strand Medical Center.

“We try to prepare for this event months in advance,” said Trauma Medical Director at Grand Strand Health, Antonio Pepe.

He said “Bike Month” is a time when they see an increase in trauma patients so they amp up their supplies and staff.

“Bike Month is a pretty interesting time for our community,” said Dr. Pepe. “Unfortunately, it comes with a lot of bad choices and bad behaviors that ultimately lead to serious injuries and often times death.”

Hospital staff members change their on-call schedules, bring in additional security and ramp up their supplies during the month of May.

Trauma doctors decrease the hours in their shifts so they’re not working 24 hours straight. Dr. Pepe said it helps them stay fresh and eliminate fatigue.

“It is very taxing physically and emotionally at times,” he added.

While the bike rallies seem to bring in more people every year, Dr. Pepe said the number of traumas from motorcycle accidents remains steady.

However, the total number of traumas has increased throughout the years.

“We noticed the number of falls and violent activity increased and lead to the increase in numbers over several years,” he added.

The spring bike rally wraps up on May 21 but bikers will continue to roll into town for the Memorial Day Weekend Bikefest.