This December has seen its share of snow and ice, and two Central Ohio-area emergency physicians say their emergency departments have been busy with injuries related to falls on slippery surfaces. Rain and melted snow refroze this week, causing particularly slick conditions on driveways and sidewalks. A fresh dusting of snow covered the ice, making the ice tough to see—and easy to slip on.
Speaking with Allison Manning of The Columbus Dispatch, Dr. Eric Adkins, Medical Director of Emergency Services at Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center, reported the hidden ice made conditions particularly dangerous. “It’s a trap waiting to happen,” said Dr. Adkins, an Ohio ACEP member and graduate of the Chapter’s Leadership Development Academy.
Dr. Adkins said he had never seen so many broken bones in the ED. Another Ohio ACEP member, Dr. Warren Yamarick reported his ED had seen a similar volume of injuries. Dr. Yamarick, Medical Director of the Emergency Department at OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital, said “A lot of the business today is everyone’s falling and hitting their heads and breaking bones.”
To help minimize the risk of falling on the ice, Dr. Adkins recommended wearing good shoes or boots with traction while walking on driveways and sidewalks.
For other winter safety tips, please visit ACEP's Emergency Care For You Winter Safety webpage.