NHS Grampian has told people to heed the Scottish Government’s advice and stay at home, as a near 3,000% increase in injuries from slips and falls adds to the pressure on hospitals.
Recent cold weather in the north-east has prompted the Met Office to issue a series of of weather warnings for snow and ice in recent days.
Aberdeen woke up to a blanket of snow this morning for the first time this year, and road maintenance body Bear Scotland has said parts of the A95 could experience temperatures of -9.6C tonight.
The chill has resulted in icy paths and pavements, which in turn has caused the sharp rise in hospitalisations for falls.
The health board took to social media to urge people to stay at home – not just to slow the spread of the coronavirus, but also to avoid any additional pressure from slip injuries.
Aberdeen Royal Infirmary’s emergency department was singled out as being “extremely busy” at the moment.
In recent days we've seen a near 3,000% rise in patients attending at hospital with injuries due to slips and falls.
— NHS Grampian (@NHSGrampian) January 8, 2021
In a video posted on Twitter and Facebook, NHS Grampian divisional clinical director John Thomson said: “At the moment, the emergency department is incredibly busy dealing with a number of sick patients, with Covid patients, and in this cold weather with patients with slips and trips and falls.
“We’re seeing an increasing number of patients who are incredibly unwell, and in addition to that having to deal with patients who have fallen and fractured bones.
“My appeal to you at the moment is, if at all possible, don’t go out.
“If you can stay at home and protect yourself, then do so.”
He added: “By staying home and preventing the possibility of you falling and injuring yourself during this cold weather, that leaves the emergency department to be able to deal with patients who are sick and who need our attention most.
“So please, during this cold weather, if you have to go out please be careful, but if at all possible, stay at home and stay safe.”