Large temperature fluctuations cause many to fall on the ice
The big fluctuations in temperatures in recent weeks have led to extremely slippery pavements many places in the country. The result is a significant increase in fall accidents.
– When the emergency centre in Oslo has treated 48 casualties every day in January, it is clear that we in the insurance industry also notice an increase in claims. There is a lot of hip fractures, but the most common injury is wrist fractures due to people trying to break their fall, says communications adviser in Tryg Forsikring, Torbjørn Brandeggen.
He says that has been extremely slippery in Oslo and in Eastern Norway, while the conditions have been more variable than in other parts of the country. But also in the west there has been close to skating rink conditions in many places.
– Even Bergen has had snow, cold and icy conditions on the roads and sidewalks. Tryg has registered several cases of fall injuries, not least among people worjing in the transport industry. When conditions are like this, I suppose many elderly people choose to stay home rather than go out because they fear for an accident on the icy and slippery sidewalks, says Brandeggen.
Hectic start to 2018
Head of Department at Oslo’s Emergency ward, Doctor Knut Melhuus, earlier this week told NRK that 38 per cent of all who have approached them have been diagnosed with broken limbs.
– It has been a hectic start to 2018. Snow in the recreational areas and ice in the city makes for a huge impact to the injury statistics. We have received more than 1,800 pedestrians who have fallen on roads and sidewalks this year and we are just entering February, so this is a large number, Melhuus says.
At Akershus University Hospital, Director of the orthopedic clinic, Inge Skråmmm, tells that they have operated 94 hip fractures in January alone.
In Oslo, crews have gritted and cleared as much snow as possible. A total of about 22,000 ton of gravel has been applied in Oslo so far this winter, more than ever before.
Hip fractures costing billions
According to figures from the Norwegian Directorate of Health dating from 2014, there are about 9,000 hip fractures in Norway annually. 6,000 are referred to as simple, while 3,000 are more complicated. According to Brandeggen, a single hip fracture costs a total of NOK 235,000 on average, while the cost of complicated fractures may reach NOK 700,000.
In total, the calculation shows that hip fractures cost Norway about NOK 3 billion annually.
– The total price for treatment and rehabilitation after a hip fracture is large, costing billions. For the individual, a cheap investment is to buy spikes that you aplly to your shoes before going on a slippery sidewalk. Then you get a much better grip and it is easier to keep your balance, says Brandeggen.
© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today.