Hospitals not seeing many cold-weather ailments

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BOARDMAN, Ohio (WYTV) – Local emergency room workers said Tuesday that despite the recent record-setting cold, they are not seeing many cases resulting from the temperatures themselves.

Doctors at St. Elizabeth Health Center in Boardman and other local hospitals said they have seen a number of people hurt falling on icy parking lots and sidewalks, as well as those injured in all the minor car accidents that have occurred on icy roads.

“We have been seeing a lot of falls because of the frost and ice, a lot of minor motor vehicle accidents. People are actually driving slower, but they are still crashing on the side of the road,” said Dr. Joseph Noga, medical director of St. Elizabeth’s in Boardman.

But Noga said there have been relatively few incidents of people suffering medical problems being outside.

“I just asked some of my colleagues if we have seen any frostbite cases and we actually have not seen any. And I think it is probably because it is so cold out, people are not going outside, so that is a good thing,” Noga said. “I think more people are aware that staying out in the cold is not healthy. They are actually dressing warmer. The technology is better.”

He did offer advice to people to avoid winter slip-and-fall injuries: Take it slow, especially in parking lots and on sidewalks that may appear clear and dry because they could be treacherous.

“Take it slow, especially when you get out of your car in a parking lot that looks like it is salted, but may not be,” Noga said.

Although the influenza outbreak that hit the Valley late last year and in January has subsided, the doctor said that too has been helped by the frigid conditions that forced schools to close and discouraged people from venturing out.

“They are staying indoors. They are not interacting with each other, their neighbors, their friends and family, so they are actually cutting down on the spread of the virus,” Noga said.

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