HORRY COUNTY S.C. (WBTW) — Grand Strand Medical Center is seeing a historical volume of trauma patients this month.

Leaders at the hospital attribute the increase to more bikers and travelers being in the area this month.

Grand Strand Medical reported 174 total trauma patients just from May 12 to May 22, which was during the Myrtle Beach Bike Week Spring Rally.

“A lot of the accidents that we have seen, the injuries that we have seen are related to speed and also to excessive alcohol use or substance use,” said Dr. Antonio Pepe, Trauma Medical Director for Grand Strand Health.

The 174 trauma patients reported was a 44% increase in motorcycle crashes and a 37% increase in total trauma patients compared to 2019.

Grand Strand Medical is using data from 2019 because that’s the last time both bike week events were held in May.

“During the last five to ten years that we’ve been actively involved with this community, we’ve noticed, with the influx of motorcyclists that come here and enjoy our community that there are, also associated with that, some injuries that occur that we feel are preventable,” Pepe said.

Doctors at Grand Strand Medical Center said with all of the events that occur in May, they make sure to plan annually for staff needed during this month.

Doctors said the emergency management and trauma team meet to plan ahead.

“They have increased their staffing, we increase our supplies in the immediate vicinity of the trauma bays as well,” Pepe said. “There’s increased staffing in OR readiness, if there operative need, that we’re ready for that critical patient or critical patients that come in.”

Leaders at Grand Strand Medical said whether they anticipate an influx of patients for Memorial Day weekend is dependent upon the weather.

If the weather is nice, then they do anticipate an influx of trauma patients during the next week or two.