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Car Crashes, Falls on Ice Send Some to Medical District

By Chloe Riley | January 6, 2014 3:36pm
 Record cold gripped Chicago Monday.
Record cold gripped Chicago Monday.
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DNAinfo/Patty Wetli

ILLINOIS MEDICAL DISTRICT — Despite the historic cold, major hospitals on the city’s Near West Side have seen no spike in weather-related injuries as the bitter weather was most likely keeping people indoors.

As of Monday afternoon, Rush University Medical Center saw several falls and car accidents due to weather conditions, but no cases of hypothermia or frost bite.

“We’ve had a couple of snow-related injuries i.e. falling in the snow and having a wrist or finger fracture, some weather-related car accidents and some flu cases,” said Rush spokeswoman Deborah Song.

Rush emergency physician Dr. Martin Fedko said, since his noon shift began, he’d mostly seen cases of flu and broken bones caused by falling on the ice.

However, he stressed the bitter cold still poses a danger for populations like the homeless and small children who are at higher risk for hypothermia.

Similarly, John H. Stroger and University of Illinois hospitals reported seeing few weather-related injuries.

Dr. Lisa Gehm, an attending ER physician at University of Illinois Hospital, said she had seen only a few car accident victims with minor injuries since her 6 a.m. shift started.

“I think most people have been smart enough to stay inside, which is really surprising. I didn’t expect it,” she said.