BILLINGS — Freezing rain Wednesday morning followed by snow in the afternoon kept both Billings hospitals busy, as dozens of people were treated for injuries from slips and falls.
St. Vincent Healthcare saw 20 patients and Billings Clinic saw 30 patients—all for slip and fall injuries.
Dr. Sara Mitchell, an emergency room physician at St. Vincent, said slipping on the snow and ice can lead to significant injuries.
“Especially if you hit your head, your neck or your back, you could have some major injuries," Mitchell said. "If you’re on blood thinners and you hit your head, you could have internal bleeding into your head.”
Mitchell says most of the patients coming in with injuries were seniors and people who slipped and fell not far from home.
“A lot of the injuries we saw came in the early dark hours of the morning today when people couldn’t see that the ground was slick and icy," Mitchell said.
A few reminders from Mitchell for older people walking outside: Use a cane or walker if your doctor prescribes it, take small, shuffling steps, and keep your hands out of your pockets so that if you fall, you can catch yourself.
Both hospitals also treated patients from weather-related motor vehicle accidents.