When in Kansas, you know the drill. Winter weather can bring anything from cold, ice, snow, rain and wind. Making it worse, any combination of those conditions can lead to power outages, slippery surfaces and serious injuries from falls.
Hurting yourself during winter time can be stressing on your body. If you fall outdoors and cannot get back up, you may be stuck outdoors in the cold until help arrives.
When old man winter starts to cause issue, there are some easy ways to keep you from having to venture outdoors.
- What medications should I have on hand and how much of a supply?
- Should I cancel my doctors appointment because of snow and ice?
- Does cold weather affect my health?
- What to do if I fall?
- What does NMC Health offer for people who suffer wintertime injuries?
What medications should I have on hand?
When winter time comes, it may be too dangerous for you to get outside for medications. You need to have a 10 day supply of medications on hand. If you fear you may run out of medication and don’t feel comfortable traveling, ask your pharmacy for recommendations on getting your medicines. They may be able to mail your medications to you.
If you use injectable medications, keeping the temperature correct for effectiveness. Check your medications for recommended storage settings. During a power outage, try to keep your critical needs medications within manufacture recommendations. If your medications get too cold, contact your pharmacist for advice.
Should I cancel my doctors appointment because of snow and ice?
If you are a fall risk or have medical problems that cold weather makes worse, you need to take important steps for your health.
Fall risks because of ice and snow are a very serious problem. The CDC reports that falls are the leading cause of unintentional death across the nation, and no surprise, slippery winter conditions contribute. NMC Health sees many people with injuries from falls during the winter.
If you are worried that a winter storm may disrupt your doctor’s appointment, call your doctor’s office. Reschedule your appointment in advance. We want you to be safe and will work with you to find a good solution. Plus, when you let your doctor know that you can’t make your appoint, that can use your appointment time to help someone else in need of care.
Does cold weather affect my health?
Cold weather can lead to a variety of health problems, the most well known being frostbite and hypothermia.
If you are exposed to cold and experience a core body temperature reading of 95 degrees F or less, you need to visit an emergency room immediately. Likewise, if you experience frostbite, a trip to the ER is critical for your recovery.
Cold weather also adds stress to your body. While we tend to stay inside when cold fronts bring winter storms, the shoveling of snow and cleanup process require us to be outdoors. Shoveling snow and cleaning up after a snow storm is strenuous work. Add in cold temperatures, it can lead to a heart attack.
What to do if I fall on Ice
And when to see a medical expert if I do fall?
The worse case scenario this winter for you might be a slip and fall from ice and snow. These falls can lead to broken bones, frostbite, concussions and worse. If you call on the ice and even think you might be hurt, call for help. Delays in your treatment can have significant impacts on your recovery.
If you need medical attention this winter, NMC Health is here to help.
For minor falls, you can use either of our two Immediate Care Clinics in Newton or Park City. These clinics operate with extended hours and walk-in appointments. They also can save you money if your medical need is treatable here, rather than the ER. We serve the greater Wichita metro area, as well as rural parts of Kansas.
If you want to get a checkup this winter and need a new primary care doctor, we have options for you. With clinics in Valley Center, Wichita and Hesston, NMC Health Family Medicine can get in you quickly for check-ups, labs, medical scans and more.
Orthopedics and Emergencies.
Sometimes a slip and fall from ice is critical and needs immediately medical attention. In these situations, you need to visit an emergency room quickly. The same can be said for frostbite and hypothermia. Emergency Departments are trained to start treatment plans. NMC Health offers a specialized wound care center that has leading technology for wound treatments. If you fall and end up breaking your hip or damaging your shoulder joint, rest assured that we can help. NMC Health has patient recommended orthopedic surgeons who provide five-star care. We use advanced robotic technology and the latest surgical techniques.
You slip and fall on the ice. You feel lucky at first because you don’t have any broken bones, but if you hit your head during your fall, you may have experienced a concussion. Concussions are a serious health problem that can have long lasting medical ramifications. NMC Health has neurologists, sports medicine specialists, and physical therapists who can help you rehabilitate from a concussion.