Lawton ERs barraged with bumps and bruises from icy accidents

Lawton_Most of Texoma can feel a bit safer about driving  - and walking - again since the ice is melting.  This week, folks were slipping and falling on the ice, and were keeping ambulances busy on the icy roads, taking dozens to the emergency room.

7NEWS Reporter Robert Richardson was cautiously back outdoors on Thursday after falling on the ice while he was doing a live report.  He slipped on the ice and landed on his upper back.  While he didn't feel he needed to go the emergency room, there were more than 100 other people in the area who did go to the ER after slipping on slick surfaces.  "We've been really busy the last few days," said Comanche County Memorial Hospital (CCMH) ER Manager Starlin Wood.  "A lot of people have fallen, gotten hurt, and a lot of ambulances bringing folks in because they're unable to travel, or are scared to - it's pushed our senses a little bit."

On Monday, the emergency room was full of people with ankle sprains, fractured fingers, broken wrists, thumped heads, and sore necks - and it was only day one.  "We saw record numbers on Monday when it first started," said Southwestern Medical Center (SWMC) Nurse Supervisor Dinah Lazarde.  "We had 20-some-odd injuries from slips, trips, and falls."  She says it probably approached more than 100 in the past four days.

More than 12 of those injured required minor surgery, and some were kids who fell while playing in the snow.  Several older people injured during the icy weather are still in the ER getting treatment.

ER workers say that the best way to avoid slipping and falling is to simply stay inside.  However, they have heard plenty of reasons why people had to be out in the ice this week, such as - taking out the trash, feeding the birds, getting the newspaper, and getting the mail.

Snow and ice began turning to slush on Thursday, but as temperatures drop below 32-degrees, folks still should exercise caution.  If you go out alone, let someone else know where you are going, and take a cell phone with you in case you must call for help.  Hospitals also suggest neighbors check on each other if they know someone lives alone - just to make sure they're okay.