A local hospital system is urging people to take precautions to avoid weather-related injuries in the current wintry weather conditions.
Baptist Health System officials said during last February’s winter storms, their hospitals saw a sharp increase in injuries including falls, broken bones, head injuries, concussions, frostbite, hypothermia and burns.
The New Braunfels Baptist Hospital Emergency Room alone saw 100 patients in a single week due to fall injuries in the snow and ice.
“We want to help keep people safe so we don’t see a repeat of preventable injuries we saw last February,” said Brittany Ray, RN, trauma program manager at Baptist Health System.
Ray offered the following advice for avoiding weather-related injuries:
- Do not travel on icy roads if you can avoid it.
- If an emergency requires travel during icy conditions, keep extra space between vehicles, avoid overpasses, slow down, and always wear your seat belt.
- Ice may not be visible on surfaces. Wear shoes with good traction, walk slowly and use small steps while bending slightly forward if you must walk over icy surfaces. Keep your hands free to aid in balance.
- Hypothermia and frostbite can set in quickly when temperatures are low. Dress in layers and stay dry.
- Seek shelter from wind and cold and ensure clothing stays dry at all times.
- Always call 9-1-1 in an emergency.
A study done a few years ago by Brigham Young University found that an injury from slipping and falling could be as painful as being in a car accident and could result in traumatic brain injuries, as well as broken bones and hip injuries.