Ice leading to packed ERs

December 28, 2010 8:38:03 PM PST
Ice from the weekend's snow storm that is still lingering in the area is proving to be dangerous for many residents.Doctors at Rex Hospital in Raleigh say they have seen about 30 to 40 percent more patients in the last two days than normal.

A majority of that increase is because people are slipping and falling on the ice.

"We're starting to see a big increase in our patient population, but then also as they're venturing out they're slipping and falling," Rex Emergency Department Nurse Elaine Marshall said.

She says increases are normal, because people don't take the right precautions.

"It looks okay, they just don't realize there's a lot of ice out there that looks wet," Marshall said. "It looks like water it's not. It's still ice and they're slipping and falling."

The injuries have ranged from bruised tailbones and sprained wrists, to serious head injuries. And some elderly patients have simply fallen down in the snow.

"I try to not run on the snow when I can, cause I guess I am a little worried about slipping so I sort of weave, weave between the little piles," said runner Elly Schofield.

It can be even harder working when it's icy out. Travis Pierce says he once fell off a slick roof.

"If there's any snow like this roof here, I don't' get up there at all," he said. "Just don't take any chances."

Officials say they want to remind everyone that emergency rooms shouldn't be their first stop for a minor injury. They should first try to get help from their primary care doctor or an urgent care clinic.

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