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Avoiding Potential Injuries Related to Ice & Snow

Summary: Are you prepared for the potential risks that ice and snow bring? Dr. James Williams provides some life-saving suggestions.
Air Date: 1/31/14
Duration: 10
Host: Dr. Leigh Vinocur, MD
Guest Bio: James Williams, MD
Dr. James Williams has served as emergency department medical director at Methodist Specialty and Transplant Hospital since 2002. He also is vice chief of staff at the Methodist Specialty and Transplant Hospital.

Dr. Williams earned his bachelor’s degree in biology from Loyola College in 1985. After graduating in 1991 from Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine on an Army scholarship, he completed a surgical internship at Brook Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas. He completed a year as a general medical officer at Fort Hood prior to doing his general surgery residency at Brook Army Medical Center. Beginning in July 1996, he served as the brigade surgeon for First Armored Division Artillery in Germany and Bosnia.

Dr. Williams is active regionally and nationally serving on the board of directors for the Texas College of Emergency Physicians and the Public Relations Committee for the American College of Emergency Physicians. He also is the medical director for Master Train, a regional medical education company and EMS Director for Southwest Ambulance. In addition, Dr. Williams is a consultant for WOAI TV’s morning show SA Living and the San Antonio Express News.
Avoiding Potential Injuries Related to Ice & Snow
When the weather gets cold and icy conditions set in, there are various risks that you need to protect yourself against.

How can you be prepared for all the potential risks Mother Nature may throw your way this winter?

In this segment of ER 101, Dr. James Williams talks with Dr. Leigh about the many injuries that winter weather can result in, as well as the more common reasons you could wind up in the ER and how to keep yourself safe.

For instance, slips and falls are a major concern in icy and snowy conditions, especially for the elderly. Whether you are old or young, make sure you wear proper footwear and cover yourself appropriately. Also, tread slowly when walking in areas with heavy ice and snow.

Shoveling and snowblowing can cause heavy exertion and could lead to chest pains and heart attacks. If you aren't in a healthy position for that sort of activity, get somebody else to help you.

Also, snowblowers can be very dangerous and you could lose fingers by attempting to clear snow. Make sure you turn off the machine before trying to mess with the blades or you will wind up with a very unpleasant trip to the ER.

Be prepared when driving in these conditions. Be cautious of other drivers and do not think because you have a vehicle that handles snow that you can speed past someone... you may be putting others at risk. Have your car stocked with water, extra blankets, energy bars, a flashlight and car charger in case in stall or break down. You will be happy you did if ever the time comes.

If you follow these helpful suggestions, then you may just avoid any unfortunate accidents this winter.