ER staff warn of dangers that come with Maine winters

By  | 

HOULTON, Maine (WAGM) - With winter weather having arrived, emergency room staff are warning people of the dangers that come with this time of year.

WalkingGeek / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

"We're starting to see a lot of falls," said Cheryl Quint, an ER nurse at Houlton Regional Hospital. "Especially when it rains and then the temperature, everything freezes, we see a lot of elderly people and that's really one of the number one things that we see for the elderly is falling on the ice, broken ankles, arms, head injuries, so we do see a fair amount of that."

She says they see a lot of weather related reasons for people coming in.

"A lot of times we see patients who come in who aren't feeling well because they have either not gotten their medications because they have to choose between buying a heat source or buying their medications or buying food so a lot of times that's the type of patients that we see," Quint said.

She also said it's important for people to reach out for help if they are in a situation where they have to choose between medication and heat. Having a proper heat source is important, especially for children and the elderly.

"With small children and elderly their capability of maintaining their heat source is different than a regular 40-50 year old person so they get cold easily," Quint said. "Their skin is thinner, infants, children loss heat very quickly through their head and other parts of their body, so if they don't have a heat source there's unable to regulate that and therefore that kind of trickles down to numerous medical issues that we see."