Ice Injuries on the Uptick at Boston Area Emergency Rooms

Doctors at Brigham and Women's Hospital said they saw about 40 patients with injuries related to slips and falls on Wednesday

Icy conditions around Boston on Wednesday morning caused an increase in injuries related to slips and falls, according to doctors at area emergency rooms.

"When you think about going outside, be very careful," said Dr. Michael VanRooyen of Brigham and Women's Hospital.

VanRooyen started working at 7 a.m. Wednesday, but a half an hour into his shift the emergency room was busier than usual.

"From 7:30 a.m. on, we've seen maybe 40 patients that have slipped and fallen on the ice," VanRooyen said.

On an average day, he said the hospital may only see one or two patients who have slipped and fallen on ice.

On Wednesday, nearly 10 percent of the hospital's 40 patients who slipped and fell on ice are now suffering serious injuries.

"Elbow fractures, fractures of the back and spine, fractures of the leg, ankle fractures and twists like that," said VanRooyen.

Vanessa Rodriguez, a student at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, said she fell on ice on her way to classes.

"I was trying to make it to my 8 a.m. class on time and of course I slipped and fell," said Rodriguez.

She made it down her front porch stairs but it was the icy sidewalk that took her down and broke her ankle.

"They're going to put a splint on and I'll have to follow up with them in a week or so," said Rodriguez.

She'll also use crutches for the next four to six weeks, but that's not keeping her spirits down.

"It's already happened," said Rodriguez. "The milk is spilt - you can't cry over it."

VanRooyen said in icy conditions, it's best to wear flat shoes, walk carefully and hang onto something if possible.

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