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

Posted December 27, 2010 11:44 p.m. EST
Updated December 28, 2010 6:28 a.m. EST

— 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.