Green Bay, Wis. – Winter is here, and snow has already covered much of Northeast Wisconsin. With more winter weather on the way, HSHS St. Vincent, St. Mary’s, St. Nicholas and St. Clare Memorial Hospitals want to remind community members about some important safety tips to keep in mind.
“We see a variety of injuries and illnesses as a result from severe winter weather each year, including those from motor vehicle accidents on icy roads, over-exertion from snow shoveling, injuries from misuse of snowblowers, slips, falls and more,” said Dr. Angela Wright, emergency medicine physician at HSHS St. Vincent Hospital and HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital Medical Center in Green Bay. “We encourage everyone to be safe as more winter weather approaches, but also want everyone to know that our HSHS emergency departments and medical providers are ready to care for you, 24/7, should you need us. Never delay emergency care – even amid a pandemic.”
Tips to prevent slips and falls:
- Beware of wet, dark areas on the pavement. There may be thin, hardly visible layers of ice (black ice) on these spots as a result of dew or water vapor freezing. It is best to treat all pavement as slippery in cold temperatures.
- Walk slowly and take short strides. Use handrails when walking up or down steps. Choose well-walked paths and avoid taking shortcuts, since these areas may not be accessible for snow or ice removal.
- Keep your hands free and extend your arms while walking. Avoid carrying too much or placing your hands in your pockets. This will keep your center of gravity from decreasing and help to maintain balance.
Tips for safe snow shoveling:
- Know if you shouldn't shovel. Certain people should avoid shoveling snow. If you have a history of heart problems, you should avoid this activity. Click here for more information about the link between cold weather and heart attacks.
- Dress appropriately. Wear light clothing in layers to provide both ventilation and insulation. To keep warm, wear a hat, gloves and thick socks. Avoid falls by wearing shoes or boots with slip-resistant soles.
- Warm up first. Before you begin shoveling the snow, warm up your muscles for approximately 10 minutes by doing stretches or other light exercises.
- Use proper equipment. Use a shovel that is comfortable for your height and strength. Do not use a shovel that is too heavy or too long for you. Space your hands on the tool grip to increase your leverage.
- Lift snow correctly. Try to push the snow instead of lifting it. If you must lift, do it properly. Squat with your legs apart, knees bent and back straight. Lift with your legs. Avoid bending at the waist. Scoop small amounts of snow into the shovel and walk to where you want to dump it. Holding a shovelful of snow with your arms outstretched puts too much weight on your spine. Never remove deep snow all at once. Do it in pieces.
- Avoid overexerting yourself. Be very careful not to overexert yourself as you work. Pace yourself and take breaks often. It's a good idea to go indoors to warm up. Taking five to 10 minutes to relax gives your body time to rest. Pay attention to the signals your body is sending. If you feel pain or pressure in your chest, call 911.
HSHS emergency departments in Eastern Wisconsin:
HSHS St. Vincent Hospital
835 S. Van Buren St., Green Bay
HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital Medical Center
1726 Shawano Ave., Green Bay
HSHS St. Nicholas Hospital
3100 Superior Ave., Sheboygan
HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital
855 S. Main St., Oconto Falls
About HSHS St. Vincent Hospital and HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital Medical Center
HSHS St. Vincent Hospital and HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital Medical Center have been delivering quality health care to Green Bay and its surrounding communities since 1888. With HSHS St. Vincent being the largest tertiary care hospital and HSHS St. Mary’s location on Green Bay’s west side, patients from Northeastern Wisconsin and Upper Michigan benefit from a comprehensive range of services that include cancer care, women’s services, emergency and trauma care, preventive care across the lifespan, digestive health, orthopedic, cardiac care, neurosciences, rehabilitation and pediatrics. Affiliates of Hospital Sisters Health System, the hospitals primary purpose is to continue Christ’s healing love through the delivery of competent and compassionate health care in an environment sensitive to the needs of all people. Both hospitals are accredited by the Joint Commission of Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations.
About HSHS St. Nicholas Hospital
HSHS St. Nicholas Hospital has been delivering high quality health care to Sheboygan and its surrounding communities since 1890. HSHS St. Nicholas Hospital provides a comprehensive range of services that include cancer care, women’s services, 24-hour emergency care, digestive health, orthopedics, cardiac, home health and hospice care. The hospital’s primary purpose is to continue Christ’s healing love through the delivery of high quality and compassionate health care in an environment sensitive to the needs of all people. HSHS St. Nicholas Hospital is accredited by the Joint Commission of Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. An affiliate of Hospital Sisters Health System, we draw on the history of St. Francis of Assisi as we move to continue serving the health care needs of our area in Christ’s healing ministry, caring for all people. To learn more, visit www.stnicholashospital.org.
About Hospital Sisters Health System
Hospital Sisters Health System’s (HSHS) mission is to reveal and embody Christ’s healing love for all people through our high-quality Franciscan health care ministry. HSHS provides state-of-the-art health care to our patients and is dedicated to serving all people, especially the most vulnerable, at each of our physician practices and 15 local hospitals in two states – Illinois (Breese, Decatur, Effingham, Greenville, Highland, Litchfield, O’Fallon, Shelbyville and Springfield) and Wisconsin (Chippewa Falls, Eau Claire, Oconto Falls, Sheboygan and two in Green Bay). HSHS is sponsored by Hospital Sisters Ministries, and Hospital Sisters of St. Francis is the founding institute. For more information about HSHS, visit www.hshs.org. For more information about Hospital Sisters of St. Francis, visit www.hospitalsisters.org.
About Prevea Health
Founded in Green Bay, Wis. in 1996, Prevea Health is a health care organization that provides high-quality, primary and specialty health care in 80+ locations across Northern, Eastern and Western Wisconsin in clinic and hospital settings. It is partnered with six Hospital Sisters Health System (HSHS) hospitals across Wisconsin to provide patients a system of highly-coordinated care, close to home: HSHS St. Vincent Hospital and HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital Medical Center in Green Bay; HSHS St. Nicholas Hospital in Sheboygan; HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital in Oconto Falls; HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital in Eau Claire; and HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital in Chippewa Falls. For more information, visit www.prevea.com.