What’s Going Around: Preventing winter falls

Mercy saw an uptick in fall injuries during the recent winter weather.
Published: Feb. 8, 2023 at 8:39 AM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Winter in the Ozarks is a magical time, unless you have to walk or drive in the snow and ice.

“Just a slip and a twist or slip and a fall and we put ourselves at a greater risk for an injury,” said Cindy Griessel, a physician assistant at Mercy.

Recently area hospitals have reported an uptick in ER and clinic visits for falls.

“First of all, doing your best to clear off your walkway, especially if you are walking with an assistive device.”” said Griessel.

Griessel also said making sure you have the right winter gear.

“Definitely investing in some good footwear,” said Griessel. “Although we all like cute shoes, those are not always the best.”

She also said it’s important to listen to our bodies.

“As far as the fall goes, obviously we are always worried about somebody breaking something,” said Griessel. “I would say a lot of falls probably don’t result in that but again, and knowing you might be sore for a few days. If that pain persists, or there’s a different type of pain, or you’re experiencing some numbness, anything that’s unusual for you, I think it’s important to just get in touch with your primary care physician.”

She said time management is key to staying safe during the winter.

“Just adding time to your schedule to realize that if it’s something normally takes you 15 minutes to get somewhere, allowing yourself double time, just because we don’t always know what the elements hold for us,” said Griessel.

Griessel also said, for people who have a fall injury and want to bypass the long wait times in the ER and urgent care, they can head to Mercy’s Orthopedic Walk-in Clinic. They see patients five and over for orthopedic injuries that have happened in the past two weeks.

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