Caution essential while walking on ice

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by JANET ST. JAMES

WFAA

Posted on February 3, 2011 at 4:00 AM

FORT WORTH — People have not taken it slow enough on the second day since the storm blew through.

North Texas hospitals have treated hundreds of weather-related injuries in the past two days.

Overconfidence has led to an over abundance of medical traumas. At least two police officers, one firefighter and a county judge have suffered serious injuries after falling on the ice.

Will Montgomery understands what they went through. He broke his left ankle in two places after he took a fall on his own driveway.

"I was just looking at the ice.  I was like, 'God, I hope I don't fall,'" he said. "And by that time, I was screaming and hollering."

Montgomery is among more than 100 weather-related patients that came through the emergency room at Texas Health Fort Worth Hospital on Wednesday.

"We have a couple of ankle fractures, an arm injury, and multiple falls," said emergency room charge nurse Leslie Stelzer.

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins has to have surgery after he fractured his leg leaving home for work.

"All it takes is one small patch of ice to put you on the ground," said emergency medicine Dr. Craig Purcell.

Doctors report injuries from a slip and slide can be potentially deadly for some.

"Head injuries, even in a ground level fall, even in young people, are potentially dangerous," Dr. Purcell said. "But in the elderly, bones are more fragile and there's more space around the brain for it to move inside the skull."

Will Montgomery will need surgery.

"I won't get to go to no Super Bowl parties now," he said.

At least Montgomery now has an excuse to watch the big game with his feet up

It is not just weather-related falls that caused medical problems during the storm. Rolling blackouts have meant many people with respiratory problems cannot use equipment that requires electricity. They turned up for emergency health care on Wednesday also.

Email: jstjames@wfaa.com

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