MINNEAPOLIS - Emergency rooms at hospitals across the metro are swamped Tuesday, swarmed by patients injured in ice-related falls.
First responders at Hennepin County Medical Center told KARE 11 that they'd been on 90 runs as of 11 a.m., and that nearly half of those involved ice-related falls.
Allina ambulance crews had been on 40 calls involving falls, Mercy Hospital had seen 21 ice victims, and Regions Hospital 19.
North Memorial ambulance responded to more than 30 calls due to ice. About 50 patients came in to the ER with injuries.
The University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview reports 12 people came in due to ice-related falls.
Besides salting and sanding your walk, here are some suggestions from Regions to help you keep your footing.
- Wear smart shoes. Choose those with non-slip, grooved rubber or neoprene soles. Check out the devices you can clip onto your boots or shoes for better traction. Don't wear shoes or boots with smooth leather or plastic soles.
- Walk small. Imitate the way a penguin takes short, shuffling, flat-footed steps with the feet pointed slightly outward.
- Walk cautiously. Your arms help you keep your balance, Don't walk with your hands in your pockets and avoid carrying heavy or bulky packages.
- Watch where you walk. Assume any dark, wet spots are slippery. Sometimes what appears to simply be wet might be an invisible layer of "black" ice.
- Always use handrails where they are available.
- Wear sunglasses on sunny days. The bright glare can make it hard to see slippery surfaces.
- Wearing heavy layers can help cushion a fall should you go down, but be careful not to wear too much bulk so that it hinders your movement or blocks your vision or hearing.
- Don't forget to remove snow and ice from the bottom of your shoes once you get inside. Wet feet can make a bare floor as slippery as the ice is outside.
- Help your elderly friends and relatives on snow and ice. Slips and falls can be extremely dangerous for seniors. If you are older, don't shy away from asking others for a helping hand.
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