Wrist, knee and head injuries a possibility during winter storm, say ER doctors

Skin damage also common in sub-freezing weather
West Meade sledding
Posted at 6:59 PM, Feb 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-15 22:05:34-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Many people heeding the warnings to stay at home could find dangerous conditions right outside their front door.

Limited traffic on driveways and dead-ends is causing freezing rain and sleet to build up and create thick sheets of ice on asphalt.

Because of the bad weather, Vanderbilt University Medical Center expects to have patients visit the emergency department with wrist, knee and head injuries sustained at home.

"Generally if it doesn't get better, if something is really swollen or gets displaced, that's a reason to go ahead and get seen and get treated," said Dr. Tyler Barrett of VUMC. "Let us check in an x-ray that there aren't any broken bones."

Dr. Barrett said sledding can lead to serious injuries, including concussions if people aren't careful.

"We've seen some pretty horrific injuries associated with winter storms. Both adults and children who run into a tree or get a severe head injury," Dr. Barrett said.

If possible, doctors would like people to wear a helmet while sledding.

Wearing the right clothing is important too. Without proper coverage, noses, ears, toes and fingertips are susceptible to frost-nip or frostbite.

Wearing boots with good traction will also save you some pain.

"Take short shuffling steps and be very careful. Expect you're going to slip at some point," he said.