Thursday, December 27, 2012

Start of Winter Brings Emergency Department Warnings

Top 5 Winter Activities Most Likely to Land You in the ER

MELROSE PARK, Ill. – The calendar tells us that it is officially winter and many states are bracing for a season of snow and ice. Broken bones from snowboarding and sledding top the list of common visits to the Emergency Department (ED) during the winter months. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one-quarter of all emergency hospital visits are attributed to snowboarding accidents, and half of all cases were for broken bones and sprains.

“Chicagoans embrace winter with gusto largely because of the great love for hockey, sledding and ice skating,” said Gottlieb Memorial Hospital orthopaedic surgeon Daryl O’Connor, who formerly cared for U.S. Olympic ski and winter sports athletes in Salt Lake City. Dr. O’Connor is board certified in orthopaedic surgery and now specializes in sports medicine in the Orthopaedic Department at Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, part of Loyola University Health System.

Here are Dr. O’Connor’s evaluations of the top five winter sports:

1. Sledding – “More than 700,000 injuries are reported each year in the United States due to sledding. More than 30 percent are head injuries, caused by collisions,” O’Connor said.

2. Hockey – “Lacerations, as well as neck, shoulder and knee injuries are common in hockey. Many injuries are caused through contact with another player, the ice, a puck or actual skate blade,” he said.

3. Ice skating – “Injuries to the wrist as well as head and neck are most common and most injuries are caused by falls,” he said.

4. Snowboarding – “Wrist and elbow injuries are caused by falls on outstretched hands,” he said.

5. Skiing – “Knees really take a pounding and injury is often caused by extreme twisting force propelled by the skis,” he said.

Snitching on Skitching is an Unofficial Entry on this List

“This is not even a sport; it’s just being foolish,” said Dr. O’Connor. Daredevil teens grab a car’s rear bumper and slide on their feet, or are pulled by ropes on inner tubes or sleds through icy streets. "In addition to broken bones, neck and shoulder injuries, young people can suffer fatal head trauma. Please, resist the skitch at all costs."

About Loyola University Health System

Loyola University Health System (LUHS) is a member of Trinity Health. Based in the western suburbs of Chicago, LUHS is a quaternary care system that includes Loyola University Medical Center (LUMC), located on a 61-acre campus in Maywood, Gottlieb Memorial Hospital (GMH), on a 36-acre campus in Melrose Park, and convenient locations offering primary and specialty care services throughout Cook, Will and DuPage counties. At the heart of LUMC is a 547-licensed-bed hospital that houses the Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine, the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, a Level 1 trauma center, a burn center, a children's hospital, Loyola Outpatient Center, and Loyola Oral Health Center. The campus also is home to Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Loyola Center for Fitness. The GMH campus includes a 254-licensed-bed community hospital, a Professional Office Building with 150 private practice clinics, an adult day care program, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, the Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park.

Trinity Health is one of the largest multi-institutional Catholic health care delivery systems in the nation. It serves people and communities in 22 states from coast to coast with 93 hospitals, and 120 continuing care locations — including home care, hospice, PACE and senior living facilities — that provide nearly 2.5 million visits annually.