Ipswich: Senior medics at Ipswich Hospital urge people to take care as cold snap leads to more broken bones

Clare Bennett putting a cast on an arm in Ipswich Hospital fracture department

Clare Bennett putting a cast on an arm in Ipswich Hospital fracture department - Credit: Archant

SENIOR clinicians at Ipswich Hospital have warned the icy snap is likely to lead to a rise in the number of patients suffering breaks and sprains as a result of slips, trips and falls.

Jan Wright, head matron in the fracture clinic at the Heath Road trust, said on Monday 15 patients were admitted to the department, higher than the average of eight.

But Mrs Wright said they are expecting the end of the week to get busier as forecasters predict a continuation of the recent bitterly cold icy weather.

Consultant orthopaedic surgeon Paul Crossman said with treacherous conditions on the roads and pathways the team expected to see a rise in ankle and wrist injuries.

“In snowy conditions we see a lot more ankle and wrist fractures as a result of people falling over,” he said.

“During one of our acute daily clinics we could see 60 to 80 patients when it gets particularly busy.” Mrs Wright, who has worked at Ipswich Hospital since 1976, added: “Not all the admissions are weather-related but they have been higher than normal.

“As well as ankle and wrist injuries we see people who have skidded in their cars and come in for neck and back check ups. Elderly people are particularly vulnerable.

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“Our advice is don’t go out unless you really need to and ensure when you do make sure you are wearing suitable footwear.

“If you have to go out, don’t leave too early, wait until the sun has had a chance to thaw some of the ice.

“The pathways are very icy, beware of black ice – what looks like a puddle could be much more dangerous.”

She added: “It is really important for people to look after one another, check up on your elderly relatives and neighbours.

“An injury like a wrist fracture can be a life event for elderly people. Especially people living on their own who will find it hard to manage.”

She said the team – which includes ten nursing staff and four orthopaedic practitioners who create casts for patients – work hard to ensure patients are seen as quickly as possible during busy spells.

Admissions at the hospital are expected to rise in the next few days as people who visit A&E make their way through the hospital system and are treated at the fracture clinic.

Jan Ingle, hospital spokeswoman said the trust’s emergency department had seen a “small increase” in the number of people coming through the Garrett Anderson centre’s doors yesterday.

“The number of people coming in with broken bones has risen slightly overall but it is too early to tell. By mid afternoon we had seen around 114 patients in A&E which is about average.”

n Tell us your experiences of Ipswich Hospital. Write to health reporter Lizzie Parry at Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail lizzie.parry@archant.co.uk