By Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It’s an all-out rush inside of Twin Cities Emergency Departments.

HCMC, Regions and North Memorial are being flooded with patients who have fallen on Monday’s slippery ice.

Monday’s conditions made everything more difficult. Just ask HCMC patient Nadalie Valentine who slipped near Loring Park, “Where I hit my head, that’s the vision center of the brain so I could have completely lost my vision or I could have broken my neck.”

She is one of more than 60 people spending the day at HCMC because of ice-related tumbles.

“I almost biffed it on the first step, out from the doors of the apartment. Then I made it to the stairs, very careful down the stairs and down I went no matter how careful I was,” Valentine said.

And she was careful, but even non-slip shoes couldn’t resist this weather. She’s being evaluated for a concussion. Nothing’s broken, but she’s still rattled.

“I got a stinkin’ collar on my neck just in case to support my neck. It’s very real and very serious,” Valentine said.

So serious, the HCMC emergency department is slammed with more than 60 ice victims.

Dr. Andrew Laudenbach had a busy day.

“People are coming in really fast and it’s taking a lot of work to keep up with it,” he said.

Dr. Laudenbach says there are different injuries but only one cause.

“The main thing we are seeing a lot of today is slip and fall on ice and broken bones, dislocation, sprains, bruises, head injuries, back pain,” he said.

Dr. Laudenbach mentioned a few quick but easy things to remember: First things first, take your hands out of your pockets and make sure you’re not carrying anything. You should also take small steps and walk in a bit of a shuffle.

He says, “If you can, avoid walking down hills, avoid stairs if you don’t have a railing and don’t hurry cause you’ll lose a lot of time coming to the emergency department.”

Dr. Laudenbach says falls are very difficult to control, but if you are falling, try to protect your head. He says a wrist injury is better than a major head injury.

Regions Hospital saw more than 70 ice victims and North Memorial said they had a huge amount of ice patients, too.

Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield

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