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Sunday, December 21, 2014

Indianapolis fair .......... hospital gives salt - ice-breaking !

Indianapolis  is the capital and most populous city of the U.S. state of Indiana.   The Indiana State Fair is an annual fair here, usually in the month of August. The first fair was held in 1881 and the 2013 fair had the highest number of attendees.  They 2015 fair is dubbed as ‘fair of the farmer’.  The state fair buildings and grounds are used for a variety of other shows when the fair is not being held.

People are crazy – in social media – they do crazy things to get noticed – to get likes in Facebook and attract on Youtube.  The salt and ice challenge is a YouTube phenomenon wherein participants pour salt on their bodies, usually on the arm and ice is then placed on the salt. This causes a "burning" sensation, and participants vie to withstand the pain for the longest time. The challenge is recorded and posted on YouTube or other forms of social media.  This can quickly cause second and third-degree injuries similar to frostbite. Due to the numbing sensation of the cold and possible nerve damage during the stunt, participants are often unaware of the extent of any injuries sustained during the challenge. Skin discoloration from the challenge may remain after the challenge has been completed or failed.

Away, from the media glare, the winter is the time when people are confronted with “wet” sidewalks and driveways – there are many ‘slips and falls due to icy surfaces’ which cause moderate to severe injuries to the bones and muscles in the back. It is stated that  falls are responsible for more than one-quarter of all spinal cord injuries in the U.S. From minor muscle strains to spinal cord damage, many injuries are caused by slipping on ice. 

Medical experts say that -  trying to “catch oneself” to avoid falling on ice can be enough to cause deep-muscle strain and sprains – particularly in the lower back. Muscles that are strained or sprained can generally be treated with rest, heat and ice treatments and anti-inflammatory medications. Experts also advice that persons falling down could cushion the blow by rolling with a fall.

In places that have lots of snow and ice in the winter, understand that the highway department spreads salt on the road to melt the ice.  Scientifically, Ice forms when the temperature of water reaches 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 degrees Celsius). When you add salt, that temperature drop.  On a roadway, this means sprinkling  salt on the ice can melt it. The salt dissolves into the liquid water in the ice and lowers its freezing point. Salt mixed with ice creates a brine that has a temperature lower than 32 F. When you add salt to the ice water, you lower the melting temperature of the ice down to 0 F or so. The brine is so cold that it easily freezes the ice cream mixture.

Wish TV news reports of tons of salt being given in preventing falls.  The reports state of an  Indianapolis hospital giving  out thousands of bags of salt to raise awareness about injuries related to falling on ice. The Department of Public Works donated 17 tons of road salt for St. Vincent Health’s annual Ice Breakers project. Volunteers bagged close to 7,000 bags.

One doctor says the ER sees hundreds of fall-related visits every winter season. “Some of them may be very minor, but we see lots of wrist fractures, lots of hip fractures, even sometimes see some very serious head injuries,” A Doctor is quoted as saying  “Even if this helps one person’s grandma to not fall and break their hip then it’s worth it.” St. Vincent will hold another salt giveaway next week at its Fishers hospital.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

8th Dec 2014.

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