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Bad winter weather presents many risks

Thursday, February 28, 2019

You don't have to get an A in Environmental Science to know that Mother Nature has dished out some dangerous weather this season. From severe negative temperatures to freeze-thaw-freeze cycles, conditions have caused black ice, buckling roads, potholes and more.

It can make getting from point A to point B at Harper a little more treacherous. Northwest Community Healthcare (NCH) recommends exercising caution when driving and walking across campus.

"There have been instances this winter of people breaking arms and legs from falling on the ice," says NCH Emergency Medicine Physician Jon Garlovsky, M.D.

As a pedestrian, watch out for patches of ice, broken pavement and frozen snow. And, when bundling up, make sure you can still see well enough to navigate the terrain.

As a motorist, allow extra time – and space between vehicles – to avoid an accident. It's better to drive a little slower and be a few minutes late to class if it means staying safe. Never park on or near an icy patch.

"The cold weather and snow always cause an increase in auto accidents," Dr. Garlovsky says.

Protect extremities and exposed skin – including your face, neck, fingers and toes – while walking from building to building.

"We've had a few cases of hypothermia and a few cases of frostbite," says Dr. Garlovsky. "The cold weather has caused more visits to the emergency department."

If you do experience an injury while on campus – whether it is from a snow- or ice-related injury or otherwise – the NCH Outpatient Care Center in Building M has board-certified physicians and skilled medical staff ready to care for you. Open seven days a week, the Care Center is less expensive than an ER visit and no appointment is necessary. Harper staff members and students* can receive primary and immediate care, occupational health, lab services, physical therapy and imaging without having to leave the campus.

For more information, call 847-618-0121, or stop by to meet the staff and see the state-of-the-art facility.

*Services are billed; most insurance plans are accepted.

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