Fractures and other injuries from falls after an ice storm

Am J Emerg Med. 1998 Jan;16(1):52-5. doi: 10.1016/s0735-6757(98)90065-1.


This is a retrospective review of all patients seen at an urban emergency department for 9 days after an ice storm because of a fall on ice. Date of presentation, age, sex, and anatomic location and type of injury were tabulated. Risk factors for fractures were identified. A total of 327 injuries were identified in 259 patients. Back injury was most common (19.3%). Ninety-one patients sustained 93 fractures. Ankle fractures were most common (24.7%), followed by fractures of wrist (19.4%) and hip (14.0%). Ankle fractures were more common than other studies of falls after a snow storm. Fracture was significantly related to age (P = .0001). There was a trend for women to sustain fractures (P = .07). Unlike other mass casualty events, fractures and injuries peaked on the 5th and 6th day after the storm, allowing adequate time for mobilizing resources to care for the injured.

MeSH terms

  • Accidental Falls / statistics & numerical data*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Back Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Back Injuries / etiology
  • Emergency Service, Hospital
  • Female
  • Fractures, Bone / epidemiology*
  • Fractures, Bone / etiology
  • Hospitals, Community
  • Hospitals, Urban
  • Humans
  • Ice / adverse effects*
  • Indiana
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Weather


  • Ice