Columbus, OH,
21:07 PM

ABC6: Winter weather keeps road crews and medical centers busy

On Saturday, December 9, central Ohio saw its first snowfall of the season. Traffic on many highways and back roads snarled to a stop as motorists struggled to adjust to the falling flakes. But it wasn’t just drivers that had to adjust. The first snowfall brought a busy evening in emergency departments throughout central Ohio.

“It happens every year,” Shay O’Mara, MD, OhioHealth’s system medical director for trauma, told ABC6 meteorologist Rachael Penton. “First snowfall, people are out. They still have their summer behaviors so there’s just an increased number of crashes and crashes at summer speeds.”

Dr. O’Mara told ABC6 that during the winter months, the emergency departments start to see more injuries from crashes and falls in winter weather – people slipping on the ice or snow, falling off of ladders when hanging or removing holiday lights, etc.

“It’s fractures, fractures, fractures,” he said. “Hip fractures, femur fractures, rib fractures.”

The biggest tip Dr. O’Mara has for drivers is to take it slow during the winter months, both on the road and when walking on slippery surfaces.

“Go slowly,” he said. “Walk carefully and don’t drink before you get in that car.”

Surprisingly, the winter months overall are not the busiest of the season for emergency departments. It’s when warmer weather hits that the “trauma season” is the busiest. That’s because more people are outside on ATVs or motorcycles, which can lead to serious injuries in the event of an accident.

To learn more about emergency and trauma care at OhioHealth, click here.  

To see the ABC6 story in its entirety, click on the station's logo below.