Winter storms and frigid temperatures are bringing Utahns to Intermountain Medical Center’s Level I emergency room with a variety of preventable injuries.
This week, the Intermountain Medical Center’s trauma team has seen a dramatic surge in winter-related injuries – car accidents, people slipping on the ice, or even falling from ladders while decorating the house for the holidays.
“One of the most frequently seen causes for visits to the emergency room this time of year is from falling on icy sidewalks,” said Sue Day, RN, program manager, Intermountain Medical Center Trauma Program. “These slip-and-fall injuries can range from a small bruise to a traumatic brain injury, so it is important that people take steps to reduce their danger.”
With another storm expected to bring more snow and cold temps to the Wasatch Front this weekend, the trauma team at Intermountain Medical Center has put together a list of five steps people can take to help avoid a trip to the hospital.
- Keep your sidewalks and driveway free from snow and ice, and be sure to use sand or ice melt, as well.
- Wear shoes or boots that have good traction – proper footwear is key to safety when you are outside shoveling snow or walking.
- Pay attention while walking – don’t rummage through a purse, text, or keep your hands in your pockets – ice patches can be everywhere.
- Allow time for bad weather and/or traffic delays – rushing to your destination can place you in a dangerous and slippery situation.
- Leave ample distance between you and the driver in front of you, as braking distances can be up to nine times greater on snowy and icy surfaces.
Following these simple tips can help reduce the amount of injuries during the winter months, and save families a trip to the emergency room.