Stay Weather Aware Monday

Man bites through tongue after falling in slippery driveway

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OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- Hospitals around the metro area are reporting a surge in injuries from slipping and falling down in our icy and snowy weather.

At Menorah Medical Center one victim says by the time he realized he was in danger, it was too late.

A doctor tells FOX 4 News the hospital has admitted at least five patients since Tuesday as a result of falls.

Slipping and falling can cause severe injuries, including hip fractures and cervical cord damage.

Ken Monaco, 79, walked out on his driveway Tuesday morning to get his newspaper when he slipped and fell flat on his face. He suffered two broken teeth, scrapes to his face and he bit through his tongue, which required 12 stitches. But the most serious injury Monaco suffered from the fall was a bruise to his spinal cord. Because of this, he now has difficulty using both arms and must learn how to walk again.

He says people need to remember the potential consequences of venturing outdoors when it's slippery.

"My own case I should have known better," Monaco said. "But you always feel you are bullet proof. I usually can catch my balance but what happens is you have no chance. You hit that ice and it just takes your feet out from under you and you go flying."

Ken says he wishes he had walked out on his grass, but doctors say injuries from falls can happen there too. Their advice is to wait a day or two before going out to get that newspaper, get the mail or shovel out during icy weather. It's difficult advice for many who value their independence, but it can help prevent serious injury.

Doctors say young and healthy people have also slipped or nearly fallen in the last few days. As temperatures continue to be in the single digits, doctors want everyone to take the dangers posed by ice and snow seriously.

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