By Stephanie Stahl

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Being outside in this winter weather is dangerous, as injuries are starting to mount up at local hospitals.

It happens every Nor’easter, when it’s snowy, slippery and crazy cold, people get hurt, from weather related injuries. And that means hospital emergency departments see an increased number of patients.

“There are going to be more accidents as people venture out,” said Dr. Kathryn Crowley at Lankenau Medical Center.

She said the emergency department gets busy when people are out in this kind of weather.

Driving on snowy, frozen roads brings a number of injuries from traffic accidents. And some of the most dangerous weather-related injuries are heart attacks caused by shoveling snow.

“It’s very important you limit the amount of time that you’re shoveling snow,” Dr. Crowley explained. “shouldn’t shovel snow if you have preexisting heart condition or you’re elderly.”

Being outside for extended periods of time in this weather increases the risk for hypothermia when the body temperature drops and frostbite when exposed skin freezes.

“You really only have to be outside 20-30 minutes uncovered to start experiencing frostbite,” Dr. Crowley said.

She said broken bones are another common weather-related injury as people slip and fall on slippery surfaces.

And in spite of all the warnings about snow blowers, those injures are routine when it snows.

Hospital emergency departments around the region are expecting to see a growing number of weather-related injuries through the weekend.

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