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16:33 PM

ABC6: Increase in Winter Weather Brings More Injuries

Are you or a loved one feeling effects of the flu? That awful, achy feeling when you just want to stay in bed all day?

Or have you been walking down the sidewalk the last few days and nearly lost your footing because of snow and ice?

If so, you are not alone. It is, unfortunately, the season for flu and falls! OhioHealth’s emergency departments and urgent cares are seeing an uptick in patients coming in for both of these reasons.

First, falls.

“Really it’s the ice,” Paul Gabriel, MD, emergency medical director at OhioHealth Grant Medical Center recently told ABC6 reporter Lisa Rantala. “It’s not so much the snow; it’s what’s under it.” The level one trauma hospital has called in more nurses to help with the additional patient visits to the emergency department.

“We’ve seen lots and lots of fractures, as you would anticipate, with people falling on the ice and snow,” said Dr. Gabriel. “Fracturing their hips, fracturing their ankles and legs.”

But falls aren’t the only problem the snow brings. Patients having heart attacks from shoveling are also presenting in the emergency department.

“Shoveling is a pretty intense exercise,” said Dr. Gabriel. “So if someone who is out of shape and hasn’t been exercising tries to do a vigorous activity like that, they can run into some problems.”

OhioHealth is also seeing an increase in flu patients. Dr. Gabriel estimates Grant Medical Center alone is seeing about 100 more flu patients now than at this time last year.

How do you know if you should visit an emergency department or urgent care for your flu symptoms or a recent fall? Click here to help you decide.

Click on the ABC6 logo to view their story.