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Watch out! Hospitals experiencing a spike in ice-related injuries

Wisconsin had the highest fall-death rate in the country in 2022, how to prevent a risky fall
Posted at 7:28 PM, Dec 05, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-05 20:28:22-05
  • Hospitals have received a spike in injury visits due to icy conditions
  • Health experts says fractures, abrasions and lacerations have been most common among ice-related injuries
  • Learn how to prevent a risky fall as the winter season approaches.

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story)

Last week we brought you a story on crash report numbers and Green Bay police said that they see a lot more crashes during the "first accumulating snowfall of the year."

"We see a lot of crashes when we have that first accumulating snowfall of the year"

Pedestrian injuries because of the ice have also seen an increase. Here's how you can prevent a risky fall.

Health officials say one million people across the country are injured every year from slips and falls.

In Green Bay, local doctors say they're already seeing a spike in slips and falls even before the true winter season starts.

"Especially this weekend with the weather changing it became much more apparent and obviously in the emergency department that we did see a lot more traumatic injuries," Dr Angela Wright, emergency medicine physician at HSHS St. Vincent Hospital and HSHS St. Mary's Hospital medical center, said.

She added slips and falls that resulted in hospital visits were of fractures, abrasions, and lacerations.

Dr. Brad Burmeister, emergency physician at Bellin Health, said Bellin Health saw an increase as well.

"We sort of had that expected bump in the number of patients coming into the emergency room at urgent care

Both doctors say falls can impact older adults more, but serious injuries can happen to anyone

In a 2022 Wisconsin EMS and Falls Report, Wisconsin had a high rate of falls among older adults and had the highest fall death rate in the country.

Dr. Wright and Dr. Burmeister had some advice for people of all ages to avoid a trip to the emergency room. They include the following:

- Shoes with rubber soles
- Planning ahead to walk slower
- "Walking like a penguin"
- Businesses being mindful to salt sidewalks and parking lots
- Try not to carry a lot of things into your homes all at once
- Use hand railing
- Know that there could be ice, even if it is not obvious.

Dr. Wright said that if the pain after a fall continues it is best to not ignore it and instead see a doctor.