Slippery sidewalks keep emergency rooms busy

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EAU CLAIRE Wis (WEAU)--Ice and snow is a dangerous combination out on the roads, sidewalks and parking lots. Local emergency rooms say they're seeing more patients coming in after falling on the ice.

"It's been iciest on the sidewalks for me I walked down 3rd Ave and that was pretty bad," said Jeremy Sutton.

"A lot people slide and then catch themselves," said Aaron Brewster.

"The path is the worst there are patches all over campus and I’ve seen 6 or 7 people fall," said Reann Phaneuf.

The emergency room at Mayo Clinic Health System-Eau Claire has been busy this week.

“People just slipping on the ice falling on their butts hitting their heads its very common this time of year,” said Dr. Sue Cullinan with Mayo Clinic Health System.

Cullinan says most patients she sees after a fall come in with a broken ankle, hip or a nasty bump on the head. She says falls can be life-threatening for people on blood thinners. Cullinan says two of the most dangerous places to slip and fall are on the stairs or stepping out of your car.

“Usually people aren't looking and aren’t careful stepping on to a curb or getting out of their car so they slip before they know it’s icy; so thinking ahead, looking down, taking short shuffling steps and expecting ice where ever you go is the best thing you can do,” said Cullinan.

And if you do take a tumble, “ice and elevation are always first and if it doesn't improve then come in and seen,” said Cullinan.