HELENA - St. Peter’s Hospital saw more than 50,000 visits in their emergency department and urgent care locations in 2016 and wants to remind people that winter injuries can happen to anyone.
Slip and fall accidents are increasingly common when snow and ice are present and they can be particularly hard on older adults.
The National Center for Injury Prevention and Control among older adults there are over 800,000 patients a year that become hospitalized because of a fall injury. Heart attacks are also a risk when having to do snow removal from your property or any other strenuous activity in the cold.
St. Peter’s emergency room physician Dr. Andy Coil says many winter injuries can be serious but not every injury requires an emergency room visit.
“If you have a simple bruise or sprain of your ankle or your wrist you can go to an Urgent Care,” says Dr. Coil, “But if you have chest pain you need to come to the emergency room where we can properly take care of you.”
St. Peter’s says that if you are unsure of the severity of your injury or illness it’s always better to be safe and get it checked out.
The National Safety Council also has a list of precautions people can take to help families remain safe throughout the holiday season.