Hospitals seeing more patients with weather-related injuries


OWENSBORO, Ky. (WEHT) – As the Tri-State saw more snow the past few days, area hospitals are seeing more patients in their emergency rooms with injuries related to the weather.

More sidewalks are being cleared of snow that fell yesterday and earlier today, but the risks of slipping and falling on slick spots haven’t gone away. Doctors say slips and falls are one type of injury they’re seeing more of caused by this week’s winter weather.

Across Owensboro, people kept walking and watching for any slick spots.

“It’s been a little better, but it’s been awfully slushy, it’s nasty. It’s not too bad. It’s better than it was yesterday,” said James Robertson of Daviess County.

Several Tri-State hospitals say they’ve seen more ER patients with injuries from falls, crashes and other weather related problems caused by things ranging from car accidents to shoveling snow.

“It’s patients are roaring in with chest pain falls on the ice, fractured hips, things that you commonly see with cold weather,” said Dr. Doug Sheffer, Director of Cardiology at Ascension St. Vincent in Evansville. He also says the bad weather can be a health risk for people with heart or cardiovascular conditions who are worried about going to the hospital in bad weather if they feel ill at home.

“There’s been a clear progression throughout the week with cardiovascular symptoms people try to stay home just cannot stay home any longer. It can be very dangerous to stay home with chest pain. Without an EKG and blood work and a physician’s opinion, you don’t know if you’re sitting at home with a heart attack,” said Dr. Sheffer.

As the snow and ice melt, he says slick roads caused by melting and refreezing can lead to more injuries from accidents or falls.

Another potential problem to watch for is icicles. Dr. Sheffer adds falling icicles from a building or even your home, is another hazard people should watch for during the thaw.

(This story was originally published on February 18, 2021)

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