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Doctors Seeing Uptick In Weather-Related Injuries Due to Heavy Wet Snow

BERKS COUNTY, Pa. (CBS) – As the snow stopped and the sun went down, many began the daunting task of digging out.

For Gabe Albarron, it’s going to be a while before he sees his car.

“I figured it would be like this, just gotta dig her out for tomorrow, gotta get back to work right?” he says.

In the Reading area, businesses were closed and the normally bustling Penn Street in West Reading saw mostly folks shoveling paths through several inches of snow.

“It’s pretty cold now,” said William Rodriguez. “It’s windy, the snow is harder to shovel.”

The Berks County region felt the brunt of the nor’easter with some areas seeing more than a foot of snow.

Dr. Charles Barbera, with Reading Health System, says they’ve seen an uptick in weather-related injuries, especially with the heavy wet snow that’s fallen.

“Often times, this time of the year, we see people come in with chest pains and heart attacks because they’re exerting themselves doing things they’re not quite used to doing,” said Barbera.

Doctors suggest pacing yourself when it comes to the snow removal process.

“Take it slow, shovel in layers so you’re not trying to pick up two feet of snow all at once,” Barbera said.

Meanwhile, at the Abington Memorial Hospital, doctors are also seeing an uptick in weather-related injuries.

“We are seeing a lot more snow-related issues. We had two guys come in back-to-back heart attacks, at the same time, from shoveling snow,” said Doctor Philippe DeKerillis.

Dr. DeKerillis from the Emergency Department says many people don’t realize how physically taxing shoveling snow can be on the heart.

There was also an incident with a snow blower — that patient needed stitches on his fingers.

“With the heavy snow, the snowblowers get jammed, and people think that because the blades are not rolling that they can put their fingers in and remove snow,” said DeKerillis.

He says with every storm people venture outside, not realizing how slippery surfaces can be.

“We are seeing the usual… as far as fractures,” said DeKerillis.

Doctors say they are expecting a very busy night.

Berks County officials say there were no major emergencies to report.

They believe people took heed to the warnings and stayed inside during the height of the storm.

 

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