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Injuries After Snowstorm Fill ERs

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By Stephanie Kaye

Doctors and nurses on call this weekend say its the injuries people get after a snowstorm that has them on alert.

Driveways and sidewalks are the two major culprits expected to cause most of the weather-related injuries filling emergency rooms.

Dr. Madonna Hinds works at Providence Hospital in northeast D.C. and knows the people she'll see.

"They've been shoveling snow, and it's usually heavy, and they get chest pain...or they usually come in with bone injuries, they slipped and fell on the ice, twisted their ankle," she says.

In her native Trinidad/Tobago, Hinds says she didn't see too many snow-related problems. But she still has advice to share, like wearing shoes with good traction, and relying on young neighbors for help.

"Usually neighborhoods do have children walkin' around, askin,''can we shovel your snow for...a nominal fee,'" she says. "I would definitely advise to have the young children or teenagers help them with shoveling."

Hinds is one of the many clinical staff members who'll be sticking around the hospital. Accommodations include cots in the auditorium and the overstuffed chairs in the dialysis center.

Michaele Johnson, director of nursing, will be joining her compatriots for the weekend ahead.

"I'll be sleeping in my office, so that's one less bed that another staff member will need," says Johnson.

Although her cot might not get much use. She expects to get about three hours of sleep tonight before making sure the next shift of doctors and nurses is ready to go.

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