Many in Riga turn to doctors with injuries suffered falling down on slippery streets

The Traumatology and Orthopaedics Hospital (TOS) has observed a massive surge of patients suffering from injuries received falling down on slippery streets. Latvian Emergency Medical Service (NMPD) also report an increase in the number of such patients carried to hospitals, as reported by both institutions.
«The streets are very slippery, and the result is obvious. The hospital is full and the admission office is full,» reports TOS chief physician Uģis Zariņš.
He did not mention the exact number of people who turned for assistance, but he did say that already there have been more than 100 such patients. The situation was the most critical on Sunday, 2 January.
The hospital is not equipped to deal with such a large number of patients. «The influx we have experienced lately is five times bigger than the number of patients our admission office can handle. There is also the issue of some of the hospital staff being on sick leave,» says Zariņš.
There are also many patients whose injuries require surgical treatment.
Although the hospital is full, doctors still provide surgeries and send recovered patients back home as quickly as possible. «Some patients have to remain in hospital for a day or two to ensure post-surgery recovery is successful,» adds Zariņš.
The most common injuries include shoulder, hip, cane, wrist and ankle fractures.
Requests for medical assistance come from people of all ages.
Zariņš did not deny that due to the increased influx of patients in Riga it is impossible to divert patients to other hospitals. Riga 2nd Hospital is the only other hospital equipped to deal with such patients.
Read also: Residents in Riga warned about slippery pedestrian walkways
A TOS patient mentioned in their posts on social media that they’ve had to wait for eight hours to get an x-ray of their broken wrist joint.
«If the entirety of Riga was on fire, there wouldn’t be enough fire fighters to deal with it either. At the same time, it’s not possible to make all of Latvia’s residents into fire fighters. This situation is caused by the weather. People have to wait longer to receive aid, but no one will be left unattended. We are trying to help everyone,» stresses Zariņš.
Latvian Emergency Medical Service (NMPD) chief public relations specialist Sarmīte Buiķe says the number of calls requesting emergency medical assistance from people who fell and injured themselves on slippery streets had increased considerably on Sunday.
While on Friday and Saturday NMPD carried an average of up to ten such patients to hospitals, the number of patients carried on Sunday had increased to 54.
Most of those patients had suffered leg and arm injuries. In one case a residents received a serious head injury. Patients come form different age groups.
Buiķe also said during the holiday NMPD received an average of 1 030 to 1 050 calls every day, which is not too much different from other holidays. «There was plenty of work, but no serious cases directly linked to holiday celebration. Unfortunately, New Year’s celebration resulted in hospitalisation for three people, who received serious injuries while handling pyrotechnics. The injuries range from light to moderately severe,» note Buiķe.