The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

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January 9, 2014

Falls, frostbite bring patients into hospital

CLINTON — In the wake of one of the coldest 48-hour periods in Clinton history, residents, organizations and businesses are shaking off the cold and getting back to a normal life.

But, not everybody was able to survive the wickedly cold temperatures unscathed according to several reports of injury mishaps and health scares over the duration of the Arctic blast.

According to Julie Dunn, director of marketing for Mercy Medical Center, there were approximately 20 to 25 emergency room visits spanning from Sunday evening to Tuesday afternoon due to the hazardous weather conditions.

“Kathy Hughes, director of emergency services, said the majority of visits were due to falls on ice and traffic accidents, as well as some for frostbite,” Dunn said. “Anytime you see this type of weather we see an increase in emergency room visits, so I think that they prepare for it.”

Although the emergency room at Mercy Medical Center’s north campus reported a number of weather-related incidents, Clinton Fire LT. Michael McQuistion said the Emergency Medical Services department did not respond to a single call attributed to the frigid temperatures.

“After reviewing the incidents that the Clinton Fire Department responded to (Monday) I found that none were directly related to the cold weather,” McQuistion said.

Unlike the fire department, Animal Control officer Kristi Shaw did receive two calls on Monday requesting a welfare check on two separate instances in which dogs were tied up outside a residence with no form of shelter to protect them from the bitter cold.

However, when Shaw arrived at the residences the dogs were removed from their outdoor posts and brought inside prior to her arrival.

“I did have two calls about a dog that was tied up outside without shelter, but by the time I had gotten there the dog had been taken inside,” Shaw said.”Both of them as far as I know were inside the residences so I just left written warnings.”

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