Trauma doc: ‘Get off the roof!”

A follow-up to the ice-dam item in this morning’s Five by Eight (5×8) on News Cut:

The “Trauma Professional’s Blog,’ written by Dr. Mike McGonigal at Regions Hospital, carries a startling statistic:


There have been five admissions to Regions Hospital’s Level I Trauma Center for adults after people fell from the roof in St. Paul since Christmas eve. All of them had serious injuries. Two died, and three sustained fractures involving elbow, spine or pelvis. I’ve seen lots of similar injuries after Christmas, when it’s time to take the lights down.

It also took some issue with yesterday’s statement from the City of St. Paul that people call a professional if they don’t feel safe going up on the roof to clear the snow.

Dr. McGonigal says no non-professional should feel safe up on the roof:


The problem with this statement is that the men (the majority of those injured) who climb up onto the roof do feel safe clearing the roof! They believe that this is something that they are quite capable of doing themselves.

  • http://www.regionstrauma.com Michael McGonigal

    Here’s an update just two days later on New Year’s Day!

    We’ve seen two more people with serious injuries from falling from the roof, or slipping from a ladder while working on it.

    Taking down Christmas lights is another risky task. It’s just as dangerous as working on ice dams because you have to move the ladder around to get at different sets of lights.

    Michael McGonigal MD

    Director of Trauma Services