People Falling On The Ice Growing Concern In Alberta

Alberta is considering issuing public advisories due to a growing number of people who have been falling on icy roads and sidewalks.

On Wednesday a Calgary man in his 60s died of his injuries in hospital after slipping on ice.

Dr. Eddy Lang, head of emergency medicine in the Calgary region, says people need to be more careful of hazardous weather conditions.

Lang says on an average winter day about 60 people end up in emergency rooms in the city.

But he says when the weather is severe hospital staff can treat four times that number.

Lang says older people have to be especially careful.

“It’s really quite worrisome and it’s a really serious problem in this province. It’s essentially a mass casualty incident,” Lang said Wednesday.

Lang says Alberta Health Services is considering issuing public advisories when meteorological conditions present a significant risk.

“We think they are as harmful to the population as smoke in the air.”

Last month, a physician in the Edmonton region expressed similar concerns after slips and falls sent more people to hospitals, some with haemorrhages and bleeds in their brains after striking their heads.

Dr. Darren Markland at the Royal Alexandra Hospital said these preventable injuries put a strain on already busy medical facilities.