WakeMed saw numerous winter-weather related injuries and patient visits to our emergency departments over the past few days (Jan 6-9). A breakdown of these injuries is as follows:
- 111 falls (compared to 53 this time last year)
- 60 sledding accidents
- 51 motor vehicle accidents
So far, no cases of cold exposure or hypothermia patients have been reported at our hospitals.
Looking at this data and comparing it to data from a similar time period in 2016, falls are up more than 50 percent.
Falls = Leading Injury at Emergency Departments
Falls are typically the number one injury we see in our Emergency Departments during winter weather, but we also treat injuries from motor vehicle accidents, sledding accidents and traumas.
It cannot be emphasized enough that whenever there is inclement winter weather outside, such as snow and ice, it is always in your best interest to avoid going out if you can. If you must travel outside of your home, take the proper precautions to help prevent yourself from falling.
Power Outages Present Problems for Electronic Health Devices
In addition to winter weather-related injuries, another concern is power outages. A power outage during the winter is not only inconvenient – it can also present a problem for those who rely on electronic health devices, such as continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines, oxygen tanks, and prescription medication that requires refrigeration.
If you or someone you know has an electronic medical device, it is important to be proactive and have an emergency plan in place. You should test your medical device to ensure that it can function in the event of a power loss. Make sure that you have all of the necessary supplies that you need for the successful operation of your medical device, and know where to go/what to do during a power outage.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) offers a helpful guide for those with electronic medical devices entitled: How to Prepare for and Handle Power Outages for Medical Devices that Require Electricity.
Our Emergency Departments Are Open 24/7
Remember, WakeMed emergency departments are always open – 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Not sure if it’s worth a trip to the ER? View these helpful tips on when to visit the emergency department.
If you are visiting another one of our facilities, please check our website for the latest closings & delays.