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Ice sends many to E-Rs, more falls expected

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Local emergency rooms were busy this morning. As conditions got slippery, doctors say they saw a lot of slips and falls.

James Elmore of Philadelphia's Mt. Airy section spent his morning at the emergency room.

He was walking down concrete steps like these outside his home before leaving for work, when -

"I guess I took two steps and I hung onto the door handle and my feet just went upside down and I landed on my side by my ribs," Elmore told Action News.

Nothing was broken, but his rib is badly bruised.

And he's not the only one hurting.

Dr. Carl Chudnofsky at Albert Einstein Medical Center's emergency department, says they were inundated with patients coming in this morning after slipping on ice.

"Most were getting ready to go to work or were getting their car out and slipped and fell," he says.

Injuries range from bruises to broken and dislocated bones, hurt backs, and head injuries.

Of those, Dr. Chudnofsky says, "They fell backwards and struck their head on the ice."

Thankfully none of the injuries seen at Einstein were serious.

It was a similar story at other area hospitals. Delaware County Memorial had about a dozen people come in with injuries in just an hour; Jefferson University and Pennsylvania hospitals were both filled with fall patients. At least 15 falls cases came into Abington Memorial today. The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania had 7 cases this morning, and a few more this afternoon. In New Jersey, Cooper University Hospital had 8 cases in the morning, including head lacerations and split lips.

As weather conditions are expected to get slicker tonight, Dr. Chudnofsky reminds everyone to wear boots, salt walkways, help the elderly and go slowly.

It's advice Elmore won't soon forget.

"Believe me, I took caution this morning but I am going to take double caution, I'm going to try," he told us.

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