Doctors Seeing More Patients for Slips and Falls This Winter
Injuries to hips, elbows, knees, and hips are the most frequent
FARGO, N.D. — Doctors across the metro are seeing more cases of injuries from slips and falls on the ice.
Sharilyn Althoff and her team at Eventide have had their hands full with victims of slips and falls.
“We’ve seen an increase in falls in the community and a lot of people that have needed to come and rehab, so people upon admission are here because they fell and had a significant injury,” said Althoff, the Director of Nursing at Eventide in Fargo.
Since senior citizens have the greatest risk of sustaining a major injury from slips and falls, Eventide has some plans in place to make sure their patients steer clear of harm.
“We have maintenance crews to make sure our grounds are kept safe and clean every single day, but for this time of year, when residents are going outside, we’ll transfer and ambulate them however is safe for them. Staff assists them when they’re going out for appointments. We have staff to help,” Althoff said.
Senior citizens aren’t the only ones who should be concerned about injuries.
In fact, doctors say anyone who isn’t careful could be at risk.
“Kids fall all the time, playgrounds and ice, and they pop right back up. Wear good, appropriate shoes that have some traction on them. Take your time, smaller steps, more time you have both feet on the ground, the safer you are,” said Dr. Jeffrey Lystad, a Sports Medicine doctor at Sanford Orthopedics and Sports Medicine.
Even on days when the ice is melting, doctors say people should be extra careful when walking outside, especially when the ice refreezes.
“If you have a snow cover on it, of course it will be a little more stable, but it’s that ice underneath or that black ice that you don’t really appreciate being there that surprises you,” Dr. Lystad said.
Dr. Lystad says the most common injuries stemming from falls he has seen this winter involve wrists, elbows, and hips.