The Lame Swamp Gbmc Deep Freeze '94

January 21, 1994|By Ed Brandt | Ed Brandt,Staff Writer

By the score they came, the bruised and the lame.

Casualties of the weather, they nursed broken wrists, ribs and hips, sore tailbones, stretched muscles, separated shoulders, cracked heads, even two cases of frostbite.

"I don't remember a day like this, and I've been here 15 years," Skip Wilkins, chief of radiology at Greater Baltimore Medical Center, said yesterday.

By midafternoon, it was standing room only for people in pain, and GBMC personnel scrambled for extra chairs. More than 60 patients had been treated by 4 p.m.

The problem was a combination of ice, the deceptively fluffy snow on top of it, and cabin fever.

"I just had to get out," said a 73-year-old Hampden man with a broken left wrist.

"I cleaned off my car Wednesday and did OK," he said. "So yesterday I walked down to the street to get some milk and other stuff from my son-in-law, who was parked by the curb. We were running out of things. Stupid, right?"

Nicholas Sipes, 8, a third-grader at Timber Grove Elementary School in Owings Mills, slipped and cracked his head against the family car. He had a large knot on his head and was feeling a bit dizzy. "I was walking very slowly," he said. "I learned never to walk on cement covered with ice with snow on top."

Ronald Lucey, 47, was on the way from his front door to his car in Cockeysville when he went down. "He came back in and said, 'I hit the ground,' " his wife Denise explained. It was another rib injury, severity as yet undetermined.

Andrew Riley, 15, a Dulaney High student, challenged Suicide Hill behind the Cockeysville library Wednesday with a sled and lost. He hit a tree and his left arm was badly swollen.

And so it went at area emergency rooms.

"We had about 50 fractures Wednesday, and more than that today," said Sue Davis, a spokes person at Francis Scott Key Hospital. "And we had three frostbite cases."

Said Michelle Fizzano, of Johns Hopkins Hospital: "We usually only have two or three broken bones a day. Yesterday we had four times as many, or more."

But take heart. It's supposed to warm up to 40 on Sunday.

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