Auburn hospital seeing ice injuries in ER

One treated for cracked skull
By: Jenifer Gee Journal Staff Writer
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From broken hips to broken pipes, the damage from a recent winter storm didn’t end when the clouds blew away. Two consecutive freeze warnings following a Sunday evening dump of snow in the foothills turned the flurry white flakes into dangerous spots of ice on sidewalks and roads. Wednesday morning Auburn doctor Bill Kirby said the emergency room at Sutter Auburn Faith Hospital had been filling up fast with fall injuries on the ice. Kirby said one surgeon reported doing five surgeries for broken hips due to a falls to the ground since Monday. Another patient was admitted for a fractured skull after they hit the hard ground, Kirby said. “It’s a very dangerous time to be walking outside in the morning with black ice,” Kirby said. “Extremely dangerous.” Kirby’s front office manager knew she had to be careful but ended up taking a spill that forced her to miss work Tuesday. Pam Rule said she was careful to take slow steps on the snow in her tennis shoes as she was walking out her yard to pick up her newspaper when she suddenly slipped. “I went down hard and fast,” Rule said Wednesday. Rule said her wrist was bruised from the fall and her back still has pain but she made it into work Wednesday. “I’m taking it really easy and carefully and not doing anything if I don’t have to,” Rule said. On Wednesday, as students were being bused back to class after two snow days, staff were vigorously shoveling away ice and snow-covered walkways. Auburn Elementary Principal Sam Schug said that he was joined by an office worker, custodian and a teacher’s husband at about 7:30 Wednesday morning to shovel and sand the campus. District workers later joined them as they moved from school to school. Schug said their efforts paid off. “We had a fall or two but for the most part it was very, very good,” Schug said. Schug said some shaded areas were closed off until the sun could melt the ice and staff plans to monitor those areas as long as cold temperatures remain. “We took it very seriously,” Schug said. “That was a big deal for us today because it was dangerous.” Kirby recommended that others take the same precautions and take care in what kind of shoes they wear and watch their step. “People really need to realize how careful they need to be in these conditions,” Kirby said. Jenifer Gee can be reached at ---------- Be careful on the ice Dr. Bill Kirby suggests that if you’re going to walk on ice, make sure you wear the proper footwear. Boots with soles are recommended over smooth-soled footwear. ----------