MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The unpredictable weather is causing people to underestimate how slick their sidewalks and driveways actually are.

Many are finding themselves in the emergency room.

Hennepin Health Care says it typically sees a spike in emergency room visits when conditions are icy.

This year is different: a more steady flow of slip and falls in the ER.

“I just wasn’t expecting it that first step, it just like completely took me by surprise,” emergency room nurse Jen Herrmeyer said.

Herrmeyer’s fall outside her Circle Pines home was caught on camera.

“All I knew is my feet went out from under me and I just went boom boom boom boom boom down the stairs,” she said.

Her husband put the Ring doorbell up two days before her fall on the icy pavement of her front steps.

She managed to get up, go back inside and get her yack tracks, to make it down the steps, sidewalk and into her car, for the slick ride to Hennepin Health Care for her shift in the ER.

Herrmeyer said she realized she was hurt the next day when she woke up in the morning and couldn’t move anywhere.

She can laugh now at her fall, but she knows she escaped serious injury.

“It can be dangerous falling on the ice,” emergency room doctor Stephen Smith said.

Doctor Smith says the Emergency room at Hennepin HealthCare has seen a steady flow of people with slip and fall injuries for the past few weeks.

“I’ve seen mostly head injuries slipping off their head going right back onto their head,” Dr. Stephen Smith said.

Protecting your head is important if you slip on ice. But breaking that fall can also send you to the ER with ankle and wrist fractures.

Dr. Smith has advice on how to walk when ice is everywhere.

“When its icy, don’t make any sudden moves, start off slowly when you are starting to walk, take small steps,” Dr. Stephen Smith said. “Don’t put all your weight on one foot, its going to slip out from you.”

Reg Chapman

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