In the Winter, the most common types of personal injury which require a visit to an emergency room in New York are slip and fall injuries, winter sports injuries, heart attacks induced by snow shoveling, bad flu symptoms and hypothermia and frostbite according to a recent article by Marc J. Felberbaum, MD, Attending Physician, Department of Emergency Medicine, Beth Israel Medical Center, NewYork. These injuries are often preventable. Here are a few tips on how New Yorkers and New York visitors can avoid a visit to the ER.
Slip and Fall Injury
Even though New York Premises Liability Law requires that property owners keep their sidewalks, walkways and parking lots in a reasonably safe condition, the number of slip and fall injuries tends to increase in NYC as temperature drops and melting snow turns into ice. Last Sunday afternoon during the icy weather the number of visits to the Lennox Hill Hospital Emergency Room increased by 15% according to a hospital representative. Increases in typical “winter personal injuries” such as broken wrists and ankles were reported by several New York City Hospitals.
The best way to avoid getting injured in icy New York streets is to pay attention where you walk. Wearing appropriate shoes is also recommended. If you suffer from osteoporosis, avoid going out until sideways are cleared or ask a friend or a neighbor to help you get to the store.
Winter Sport Injury
Most common winter sport injuries are fractures and ligament damage as well as head and spine injuries. Minor bruises can be treated at home but a visit to the doctor is recommended for head and neck injuries or if you fractured a bone.
Snow Shoveling Injury and Fatality
Every year thousands of people are getting injured and an average of one hundred people die in the US after shoveling snow. A previous study by the Center for Injury Research and Policy of The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital shows that cardiac related injuries represent 50% of visits to the Emergency Room and 100% of the fatalities associated with snow shoveling. Men over 55 years old are the most at risk. If you don’t exercise regularly or if you suffer from a heart condition you should avoid shoveling snow.
The best way to avoid flu is to get a vaccine and to wash your hands often. If you catch the flu anyway it’s better to stay home and get rest until it goes away. Monitor your symptoms, if your fever is above 102 degrees and if you suffer from extreme fatigue or you have difficulty breathing you should visit the Emergency Room.
The risk of Hypothermia is usually limited in New York City but with the record low temperatures seen Today, the New York Office of Emergency Management released a warning to remind New Yorkers that prolonged exposure to cold can be deadly. Seniors and infants are the most at risk. Stay indoors as much as possible. If you need to go out wear layers of chlothing to keep warm and dont forget your hat, scarf and gloves!