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American Medical Response offers safety precautions to avoid winter-related accidents, injuries

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Mon, Nov 21st 2016 12:45 pm

By the American Medical Response

As the first significant snowfall of the season appears in Western New York, American Medical Response reminds residents that traffic accidents, recreational injuries, slip-and-falls and shoveling-related heart attacks pose increased risks.

Every year, severe winter weather brings potentially serious injuries from automobile accidents, skiing, tubing and snowmobile accidents, and slip-and-falls in icy conditions. Injuries resulting from such accidents could include lacerations, broken bones and even traumatic brain injuries.

Thomas Maxian, regional director at American Medical Response in Central New York, offers some precautions one can take when driving, playing and walking on the snow and ice:

If you must drive, slow down: After a storm, that white blanket of snow can often become a sheet of treacherous black ice. Even when roads have been cleared, reduced traction and flat light conditions may persist. Drivers should maintain caution, leaving enough braking distance between vehicles.

Even walking, take precautions: Take your time and walk with slower, shorter steps. Make sure you are wearing warm, insulated footwear with rubber tread for good traction

Shovel safer: Shoveling snow poses another serious risk this winter season. Soft tissue injuries of ligaments and muscles, especially in the lower back, are common from the heavy lifting, bending and twisting. Lessen your chances of getting hurt while shoveling snow:

  • Pace yourself and take frequent breaks
  • Try pushing the snow as opposed to lifting it or twisting to throw it over your shoulder
  • Listen to your body. Stop immediately if you get short of breath, start sweating profusely or have chest pain

Beware the "silent killer": Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless, deadly gas that slowly renders a person unconscious. Since many people do not survive the unconscious phase, CO is often called "the silent killer." To avoid carbon monoxide poisoning after a storm, inspect and clear snow from any natural gas meters or furnace vents. Indoors, always open flues when fireplaces are in use, and use space heaters in well-ventilated areas. Never use a gas kitchen oven to heat your home or use gas or charcoal grill indoors.

Be aware of these tips and take precautions and preventive measures ahead of time. This will allow you to spend this season enjoying the outdoors instead watching it from inside of a hospital.

About American Medical Response

American Medical Response Inc., America's leading provider of medical transportation, provides services in 40 states and the District of Columbia. More than 25,000 AMR paramedics, EMTs, RNs and other professionals work together to transport more than 4.4 million patients nationwide each year in critical, emergency and nonemergency situations. AMR, a subsidiary of Envision Healthcare Corp., is headquartered in Greenwood Village, Colorado. For more information about AMR, visit www.amr.net.

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