Snow-related injuries send many to emergency rooms citywide


by Melanie Kahn

Posted on February 10, 2010 at 1:04 AM

The temperatures were down in the teens and the wind chills are well below zero.  Meanwhile, the ice out there was very treacherous.

Kosair Children's Hospital saw a number of snow related injuries. 

Local hospital officials tell us that with the snow, typically comes an increase in injuries.

Many have been busy all day and all night long and with temperatures continuing to drop, they expect to continue to be busy all night long.

Sledding can be a lot of fun, but that fun can quickly become dangerous, as two kids learned while sledding at Cherokee Park Tuesday.

Steve Needy said, "An 11 and a 7-year-old come down the hill and went into the tree and one of the boys was complaining about his arm hurting and one was complaining about his back."

Parents called 911 and the boys were rushed to Kosair Hospital. 

Shortly after, EMS crews were dispatched to all sledding parks, to remain on standby in case of any other accidents while the remaining crews continued responding to the dozens of reported crashes,

slide-offs  and even shoveling accidents sending people to the emergency room all night long.

Dr. Shawn McCarty at Baptist Hospital East said, "The most common thing we see is people that slip and falls.  A lot of broken wrists, broken hips... back injuries, some occasional serious head injuries."

He said, "Unfortunately we see a lot... one or two people who come in and over exert themselves and end up with heart attacks, since it's the most strenuous thing they do all year long."

And as the temperatures continue to drop, McCarty's biggest concern is frostbite.

 "The first thing you'll notice is the extremity will become pale, it will feel cold and sometimes you'll have a burning discomfort, sometimes the skin will itch.  The most importatnt thing is the skin will become kind of a gray ashen color."

It may seem harmless, but if you're not playing cautiously, McCarty says, you could end up in the hospital.

The best advice really is to bundle up when you go outside.

And if your children are going to be sledding, make sure your kids are supervised and not anywhere near trees.