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Slips and falls make up 23% of A&E admissions as big freeze bites

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Slips and falls on icy streets and sledges have filled accident and emergency departments with injured pedestrians during Britain’s ‘big freeze’, according to hospital reports.

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“People have either broken their wrists and got a gash on the back of their heads from falling on to their back, or they’ve injured their shoulders or legs. Half the people we’ve seen have broken legs or pelvises,” said a spokesman for the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading.

The hospital said 288 people admitted to A&E last week had injured themselves by falling in the snow, making up 23% of the department’s 1,215 admissions.

Some non-emergency operations were cancelled by Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust (SUHT), which said it had to keep planned admissions to a minimum as a result.

The trust was “extremely busy” during the festive season, with 400 people passing through its emergency department in one day, according to a spokeswoman. On average 60 more patients were treated each day than the previous year.

In Yorkshire, several hospitals said the number of fall-related injuries has also risen, with Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust reporting a massive increase in emergency calls.

People travelling for outpatient appointments at Bradford Royal Infirmary were warned not to endanger themselves.

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