Ransom Memorial Hospital’s new emergency department was kept busy this weekend with weather-related injuries, a hospital official said.
Angie Welch, director of emergency services at RMH, said activity was brisk throughout the weekend.
“We had a lot more injuries due to the ice and snow,” Welch said. “People think they are accustomed to the ice and it takes them by surprise sometimes.”
Welch said ER also was hit by residents fighting the flu.
“It was a two-edged sword,” she said.
Welch said people don’t expect to get hurt when venturing out in the ice and snow.
“That is why they call it an accident,” she said. “It was a variety of different things. People don’t recognize the sidewalk is slick. They can’t see the ice on the stairways and slip on it. They are not treating their sidewalks, so they are slipping on that. It is not just the elderly that are falling. We are having all ages getting hurt this year.”
Welch said residents need to carry their cell phones with them in case of an incident.
“I know there are people that don’t have their cell phone on them and they fall on the ice and break something,” Welch said. “They are not able to get up. They need to make sure they have a way to get a hold of somebody to come and help them.”
Welch said the Ottawa area is not out of the woods yet on weather-related incidents.
“The worst part is like [Monday], we have the wind chill that is going on,” she said. “That is actually more dangerous than anything else we have had. People need to be very careful in staying out of the wind chill so they don’t end up with frostbite or other injuries from the cold.”
She said people need to be aware of refreezing later this week when the day time temperatures rise above freezing and the temperatures drop below freezing at night.
“Make sure you have on proper footwear,” Welch said. “Be very aware of your surroundings when you take those first steps.”
The ice and snow caused some vehicle mishaps Sunday throughout the county. Several slide-offs and wrecks were attributed to the road conditions, according to law enforcement reports.
Jeff Richards, Franklin County sheriff, said the sheriff’s office did not call out extra deputies to handle the wreck calls. He said the ice was the main culprit that caused the slide-offs and wrecks.
“The weather event was wide spread,” he said. “I know the road crews were out early Sunday morning.”
After the roads were treated, the travel conditions improved, Richards said.