Slips, falls on the ice send patients to local ER's in droves

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) –  Patients are jamming local emergency rooms with a myriad of injuries – some of them critical – resulting from slips and falls on ice-coated driveways and parking lots.

“I’ve been here since seven o’clock (Thursday) morning and already I’ve seen five potentially life-threatening injuries,” Dr. Robert Poirier, clinical operations chief for the Emergency Room at Barnes Hospital, tells KMOX News.

He says the ice that’s formed as a result of the light, freezing drizzle that’s been falling since late Wednesday is so slick and so difficult to see that people often don’t even realize what’s happening until it’s too late, and they don’t have time to protect themselves.

“We’ve seen patients with facial fractures, or broken bones in their face, fractured skulls,” he says.  “Also with bleeding within the brain and the head from the falls.”

The elderly are also especially at risk for injuries from slipping and falling.

“Typically as you get older your bones aren’t as strong and you’re more likely to break bones” Dr. Poirier says, turning even a simple walk down the driveway to retrieve the morning paper into a potentially life-threatening prospect.

His advice?

“Today, I would say stay in unless you absolutely have to go out,” he replies.

“And if you have to go out make sure you have shoes that can grip and that you’re extremely careful, but otherwise it’s best not to go out today.”

(Copyright KMOX Radio)

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