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Icy conditions send people to area hospitals after falls

MADISON (WKOW) — The icy surfaces on Thursday proved dangerous for some as others tried their best to stay standing.

“It’s so cold and so slippery out here,” said Samantha Nelson as she walked downtown.

By Thursday night, all the freezing rain that fell through the day had frozen. Trees were glazed in ice as they twinkled in the streetlights. Bikes that were left locked to racks were covered in a sheet of ice. Roads and sidewalks were slick in some spots, making travel of any type tricky.

“It just looks like the sidewalk,” said Nelson as she noted the deceiving look. “But I’ve honestly almost twisted my ankle just walking and trying to be careful, but it’s not working well.”

“I’ve always tried to walk in the snow because you can literally slide and skate the entire way there. It’s been unreal, I think,” said Brennan Bauer as he strolled downtown.

Doctors with SSM Health said they saw 24 patients who came into area hospitals and clinics after they slipped and fell on ice.

Medical teams said they usually see younger and older patients but they admit the injuries could be deadly.

“They can absolutely be life-threatening injuries. Once you fall, if you have issues getting up you can be exposed to cold for long period of time, or ever just the direct trauma from the fall itself, especially if you’re on blood thinners where you could have internal bleeding, bleeding around the brain,” said Dr. Christian Rickman at St. Mary’s Hospital.

Those injuries could include wrist fractures, hip fractures and dislocated shoulders or head injuries.

Doctors say if you plan to be out in the icy conditions, be sure your shoes have a good grip and you walk slow using short strides.

Hunter Sáenz

Reporter, WKOW

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