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October 23, 2018

Top 5 Winter Emergencies in Texas

Top 5 Winter Emergencies in Texas

Medical emergencies can occur at any time of the year. However, the winter seasons brings with it some exceptional hazards, which may require you to make a trip to the emergency room.

While Richmond and Dallas may get a free pass on a lot of winter-related injuries, it wouldn’t hurt to be aware of some common winter accidents and injuries.

Frontline ER would like to discuss some of the top winter emergencies in Texas to help protect you and your family.

Winter Sports Injuries

Athletes, especially those who take part in outdoor sports can be adversely affected by cold temperatures.

About 290,000 people visit the emergency rooms annually for winter sports-related injuries. Outdoor sports like Lacrosse, skiing, snowboarding, and ice skating can cause athletes to experience extra stress on the joints and muscles. 

Football, basketball, and golf can also lead to injuries due to athletes having cold muscles combined with cold temperatures.  Falling onto ice or colliding into others can lead to knee injuries or shoulder dislocation that can take months to recover.

If participating in winter sports, wear protective gear like helmet to reduce head injuries and concussions.

Falls and  Slips

Falls are one of the leading causes of death in home and community settings. During winter, everyone is busy with decorating for the Christmas holidays. It’s during this time that most people fall from ladders, roofs, furniture (like step stools) porches, and the stairs while hanging the lights or trimming Christmas trees. Have someone hold for you the base of the ladder steady to avoid the chances of falling.

Generally, the climate in Texas is mild. Nevertheless, ice and snow can occur during winter. Thin layers of transparent ice (black ice) can form on the roads, parking lots, and sidewalks when it rains, and the temperature drops below freezing. When snow and ice are present, make sure that you wear shoes with soles that have grip. Slippery areas may not be easy to identify, test your footing on the ground in front of you before you start walking.

Ice melt is appropriate for instant melting on slippery spots.

Exercise extreme caution because slips and falls can cause injuries especially for the elderly who can be severely disabled by concussion or a broken bone that may require immediate care at FrontLine ER.

Burns And Cuts

The winter season is likely to bring people together indoors. Cooking for large numbers of people can lead to chaos in the kitchen and may lead to an increase in burns and cuts. To avoid such kinds of injuries handle hot pots, pans, and knives with caution. Take it easy and do not rush the cooking process.

FrontLine ER also suggests that you keep candles away from the reach of children. Also, keep an eye on them, so they don’t end up at the fireplace.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

With the winter holidays, many homes turn on the heater or light up the fireplaces to keep the houses warm and comfortable. Carbon monoxide (CO) is an invisible, odorless gas that when released can be fatal. The emission of CO can be ca a result of a faulty heating system, improperly placed portable generators or using a charcoal grill indoors.  The effects of carbon monoxide poisoning vary with age and the overall health of an individual, and the duration of exposure to the toxic gas.

If any of your family members experience dizziness or fatigue while indoors,  and then feel better when out, it’s an indication that there is a high level of CO in the house. Consider placing all portable generators outside, install a carbon monoxide detector near all the sleeping rooms and be sure to do a maintenance check on all your heating systems annually. The servicing should by qualified heating appliances contactors.

Influenza

Winter season is considered a flu season due to the lower temperatures. FrontLine ER has observed many cases of flu during winter in patients visiting the ER.  Anyone, be it children or the elderly who has a weak immune system is at high risk of complications resulting from flu. A predominant virus lingers in the air and typically grows in the trachea, the bronchi of your lungs and in some cases, deep down the lung tissues.

If left untreated it could lead to pneumonia, sinus infections, ear infections, asthma or even congestive heart failure. Symptoms that may be considered life-threatening include high fever, chest pains, seizure, shortness of breath and dizziness. If you believe you have the flu, do not ignore the signs, call your doctor or rush to FrontLine ER for treatment.

This winter, keep your family and friends safe by being cautious about the emergencies mentioned above.  If the weather outside is terrible, avoid driving if you can, especially if there is ice on the road. If you are in Dallas or Richmond and involved in an emergency, call 911 or visit FrontLine ER as soon as possible.  We are here 24 hours a day to serve you.

Emergency Care, Emergency Room