Seniors urged to use caution while out on slick surfaces

Published: Jan. 31, 2023 at 9:49 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 31, 2023 at 10:32 PM CST
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WEST PLAINS, Mo. (KAIT) - Doctors are asking everyone to take it easy on the ice, and they don’t just mean on the roads.

Whether taking out the trash or checking the mail, the slick ground could end in an emergency room visit.

Dr. Curtis Horstman at Ozarks Healthcare’s ER at West Plains says they’ve seen a wide range of injuries caused by the weather.

“We’ve seen a lot of hip, wrist, and humerus fractures. People put their arms out whether they fall forward and they tend to break a wrist, or they fall backward, and they get their arms up behind them, and they tend to break their upper arms,” Dr. Horstman explained. “Seen a good number of those. Unfortunately, a few hip fractures. Early this morning, we seen a number of minor motor vehicle accidents. Fortunately, none of those had any major injuries.”

While anyone could break a bone from slipping and falling, Dr. Horstman says one age group needs to heed the warning of staying off slick surfaces.

“The biggest thing is going to be a hip injury to the older folks. That’s the most significant one that has major potential implications when someone over the age of 65 has a hip fracture,” Dr. Horstman said. “They generally get a lot of problems as a result of that.”

Dr. Horstman stressed that staying inside is the best way to protect yourself from slick conditions.

“The best thing to do probably is not get out there on that ice. I grew up quite a ways north of here,” Horstman explained. “Snow you can handle, but it doesn’t matter how much ice there is. Once there’s a little, there’s no getting past it. It’s better to just stay off of it.”