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For Release: February 1, 2010
Contact:   Larry Weatherford
Office of Communications

Winter Storm Injury Update – Elderly at Risk

Injuries related to the recent winter storm continue to climb according to numbers from the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH). 

Of particular concern are fatalities involving the elderly as five of the seven reported fatalities have involved persons over the age of 60. Relatives and neighbors are encouraged to check on elderly Oklahomans and ask them to remain indoors if the power is on or to move to a shelter or other warm place if the electricity is off.

At least 465 slip and fall injuries have been reported statewide. Weather forecasts indicate a repeated thaw and freeze cycle this week that will result in ice and slick areas.

The OSDH also reports 101 injuries from motor vehicle accidents, and 9 cases of carbon monoxide poisoning related to the storm.

The OSDH urges those who are using portable generators to make certain they are not placed for use indoors or in garages, basements or sheds. Generators should be placed well away -- at least 25 feet -- from windows, doors, vents or any other opening. Some persons may be tempted to use charcoal grills, camp stoves or other gasoline/charcoal burning devices indoors during a power outage. These alternative fuel sources can also produce significant amounts of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Additional winter weather precautions are available on the Oklahoma State Department of Health Web site at http://www.ok.gov/health/Winter_Precautions.html.



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