Ice-Related Trips To ER Increase After Snowfall

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The ice and snow on the ground is keeping emergency rooms in Northwest Arkansas busy. Officials at Northwest Medical Center say their two facilities have seen a combined 45 people come in with ice-related injuries this winter season.

Danelle Richards, an emergency room doctor, said the most common injuries are wrist fractures. She said upper arm and shoulder injuries are also common from patients falling or slipping on the ice or slick surfaces.

"We see arm pain, wrist pain, would be the most common, because they fall and try and catch themselves with their outstretched arm," she said.

Richards said fractures caused by ice and snow are more common in adults and the elderly than in young children.

"They may have trouble under good conditions, so obviously ice would make it even harder for them to get around," she said. "If they move slow, they are a lot safer."

Local resident Scott Harper said falling on ice as an adult hurts a lot more than it did when he was a kid.

"Kids fall on ice and they just bounce right back up like its nothing to it," he said. "You take people like me. We hit the ice and it's like a thud and you hear the ice cracking underneath you."

Michelle West said she has used one tactic to avoid slipping on slick pavement.

"Balance," she said, holding her arms out to her side.

Besides slips and falls on the ice, doctors said other common winter injuries include back strains from snow shoveling and lacerations from snow blower blades.

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