Hospitals see uptick in slip-and-fall injuries from icy conditions

Posted December 27, 2010
Updated December 28, 2010

— Emergency rooms around the Triangle were flooded Monday evening with weather-related injuries after a winter storm dumped a heavy blanket of snow across the state over the holiday weekend.

Slips and falls on icy steps, sidewalks and parking lots have been the biggest cause in the upswing of patients at area hospitals, said a spokesperson for Rex Healthcare in Raleigh. 

More than 50 patients came to the emergency room at Rex Hospital with weather-related injuries Monday. 

"A few sledding accidents, but mostly just slips and falls," said Greg Talent, a physician's assistant at Rex Hospital. "People unsteady on the ice."

Talent said most of the injuries he saw Monday were to patients' wrists and ankles. 

"You never know. Sometimes it can be... a bruise. Sometimes it can end up being a broken bone. And a lot of times you can treat this stuff on your own at home," said Greg Talent, a physician's assistant at Rex Hospital. "You can ice it, take some Motrin or Aleve, but if it continues to get worse, you should consult your healthcare professional."

WakeMed, Duke and UNC hospitals also reported an increase in weather-related injuries Monday.

Slick ice may continue to be a problem Tuesday, as snowy spots that melted during the day refreeze overnight when temperatures drop into the teens.

Talent said doctors and other emergency staff were bracing for Tuesday.

"I expect it will still be steady, but hopefully not as busy as (Monday)," he said.


This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • WXYZ Dec 28, 2010

    Yep, a "windfall" (pun intended) for the hospital ER's and orthopedic surgeons. Most Urgent Care clinics will send these cases to the "Orthopedic Urgent Care" clinics--some have late hours (e.g. 3 - 8 pm). It's best to call ahead before going to the Urgent care clinic to see if they can handle your problem.

  • Bartmeister Dec 28, 2010

    Probably a lot more would go if they could afford it. My friend got a very small dog bite on her hand, spent 4 hours at the hospital, mostly waiting, they poured saline solution on it, sent her home with a $1600 bill. She called them later and they admitted it was high and would probably be negotiated with the insurance carrier. Crooks is all that comes to mind.

  • The Fox Dec 28, 2010

    Ow. I feel compensation setting in.

  • TeresaBee Dec 28, 2010

    Why not this article? If WRAL shouldn't run this one (because it is so obvious people will fall) then to you all they shouldn't run stories about the snow or snow related car accidents. Give WRAL a break.

  • HanginTough Dec 28, 2010

    Is this not the most idiotic article you have ever seen...DUH!

  • tobywilliamson58 Dec 28, 2010

    News stories must be hard to come by to put this one on! Boy, I thought I had a boring job!! HA HA

  • TriangleMommy Dec 28, 2010

    Gee and I went and feel down the stairs days before the snow. You mean I was supposed to fall and bust my tailbone on the ice? Darn - I didn't know.

  • gingerdogditchdog Dec 28, 2010

    Seriously?? Duh!!!

  • Pseudonym Dec 28, 2010

    In about 3 months we'll see an uptick in treatments for allergies.

  • IliveinwhackogopcontrolledNC Dec 28, 2010

    With an uptick in sunbathers lying out in the sun too long during the summer, Rex also treats people in the summer time for sunburn.