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Slips, trips and falls patients treble during big freeze

An icy covered pavement on Westhill Road, outside SensationALL's premises is just one of the treacherous north-east streets.
An icy covered pavement on Westhill Road, outside SensationALL's premises is just one of the treacherous north-east streets.

The number of people heading to A&E has more than trebled due to slips and falls due to the recent cold snap.

A total of 338 of 849 attendances at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary’s emergency department from Thursday to Sunday were blaned on ice, snow, slips, trips or falls.

Some of the those included broken bones.

Only 108 people needed treatment as a result of the problem by the hospital during the same period last year, out of 656 admissions.

Scottish Ambulance Service was also inundated with calls, with slips trips and falls patients rocketing 108% in the city and 136% in Aberdeenshire compared to a snow and ice-free weekend at the end of November.

NHS Grampian last night encouraged people to check their website for treatment options in non-emergencies, such as sprains.

A spokeswoman said: “The emergency department at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary was particularly busy over the weekend which was expected. Our staff did a superb job in managing patient flow and we are very grateful to them.

“We would encourage the public to consult the Know Who To Turn To booklet or website which contains a comprehensive list of of the treatment options available to them.”

Among one of those who went to A&E was Barbara Donnelly from Ivanhoe Walk, Garthdee, who fell on concrete outside her home on Thursday.

The 62-year-old said: “I didn’t even see the ice and I just went. I was screaming ‘help’ for half an hour but nobody could hear me. It was so cold I think I got frostbite.

“Eventually I got help and went to the doctors, who told me to go to A&E. I only had bumps and bruises but I was very sore over the weekend. More needs to be done to grit the roads here. There is a grit bin but most people here are old and they can’t manage doing it themselves.

Another who needed hospital attention was a man in his 50s who suffered a head wound when he slipped and fell on Hayton Road, Aberdeen.

A woman in her pyjamas helped treat him at the scene with a first aid kit from Rainbow City Cars taxi driver Derek Findlay who was flagged down as he passed.

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