Monument Health hospitals see a spike in trauma patients during Sturgis Motorcycle Rally

ER and urgent care numbers were down, but in-patient numbers followed an upward trend.
ER and urgent care numbers were down, but in-patient numbers followed an upward trend.
ER and urgent care numbers were down, but in-patient numbers followed an upward trend.(KOTA)
Published: Aug. 19, 2020 at 10:40 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - Though fewer rally goers headed to the ER and urgent care this year compared to 2019, Monument Health did notice an uptick of in-patient care.

Monument Health hospitals handled about 110 rally related in-patients this year.

In the past two years, the hospitals saw the most in-patient days with a total of about 310.

Rally In-PatientsTotal
2018 Day Totals278
2019 Day Totals217
2020 Day Totals310

This number refers to how many patients and days patients stayed in the hospital during Aug. 7 to Aug. 17. For example, if a patient stayed for four days in the hospital, it will be counted four times in the in-patient days data.

Rally relate in-patient days 2020
Rally relate in-patient days 2020(Monument Health)

Rapid City's hospital handled the most cases with about 50 more inpatients this year since they increased their number of hospital beds to handle 300 patients in total.

”We had the max census we’ve ever had in Rapid City hospital history that we know of, but we went to over 300 patients and our normal is 230. So we definitely we’re a lot higher. Part of that is because of covid. Part of that was because of the Rally,” Stephanie Battell, director of nursing administration for Monument Health, said.

Both the Rapid City and Sturgis hospitals handled an influx of cases in their emergency room departments with Rapid City seeing 154 cases come through their ER alone.

2020 Rally related emergency room visits
2020 Rally related emergency room visits(Monument Health)

However, overall rally goer ER visits this year was 432 compared to 472, last year.

Rally ER VisitsTotal
2018 Day Totals501
2019 Day Totals472
2020 Day Totals432

One of the bigger concerns for Battell was the number of trauma patients that came in.

During Rally week, 148 trauma patients entered. But only 42 were related to the actual Rally event.

Battell said though most of the cases are not in relation to the Rally, this shows how many more people were out-and-about in the Black Hills during that time.

She said before the Rally, to acquire more space, they increased semi private rooms and stopped elective procedures to help provide more room in the hospital to handle the plan of 300 patients.

This year, the hospital partnered with the National Guard in case they needed any extra beds or supplies.

But, Battell expects to see the high volume remain for the next few months as more patients in need of other care will come in to be treated.

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