Slippery surfaces landed many people in the hospital

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) – Friday’s freezing rain and snow caused a number of car accidents, but the danger didn’t stop there.  Slippery sidewalks caused many people to fall, and even led some to the emergency room.

For Ryan McNellis, it happened all too fast. One moment he was walking to his car, and the next, he was on the ground.  “There was a patch of black ice and my feet just slipped out from under me, and I fell on my back,” he explains.

Luckily, he wasn’t hurt, but that fall did inspire a trip to Ace Hardware in Maryland Heights. McNellis says, “Need to get the driveway salted so we don’t repeat it.”

McNellis wasn’t alone.  Ace Hardware Assistant Manager Eric Lavine says salt has been flying off the shelves all day: “In this particular case, this storm has produced more ice than snow, so it’s the ice you want to get rid of.  The salt melts the ice and then you get back down to your natural surfaces, whether it’s concrete or asphalt.”

All that salt was definitely needed on a day like this. Mercy Hospital saw more than a dozen cases by late afternoon of people who slipped and fell on the ice.

It’s easy for anyone to slip on slick surfaces, but Mercy Hospital Emergency Physician Kevin Journagan says the elderly are often the most seriously hurt: “We see a lot of hip fractures, head injuries, all the way from bumps and bruises to very severe, critical injuries.”

Especially for the elderly, Journagan suggests staying inside when it’s icy.  “I’ve seen three falls today, and all three have been people going out to get their mail,” he says.

If you’re concerned about venturing out in icy conditions, this E.R. doctor suggests bringing a cell phone with you, and telling a family member where you’re headed.

If you fall and think it’s serious, call 911, or visit an urgent care center.

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