At least 34 people, ranging in age from 3 to 70, were injured in ski accidents on Mount Hermon this week. All of them were treated at Rebecca Sieff Hospital in Safed.
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The most serious injuries of the current skiing season happened Tuesday, when a 28-year-old man from central Israel sustained a neck and back injury after falling, and a 39-year-old man suffered a heart attack. He was airlifted to the hospital.
Most of the injured sustained fractures or sprains when they tried to break a fall, according to a spokesperson for the hospital. Five cases involved light injuries to the head or face, including a 3-year-old girl who fell, slightly injuring her eye. Two people sustained chest or rib injuries.
"Every winter during ski season, dozens of people with various injuries arrive from Mount Hermon for treatment at the ER," said Dr. Hussein Amar, director of the Sieff Hospital emergency room. He urged skiers to follow safety instructions at the site and be careful to avoid serious injury.
"Most of the injuries are not severe, but some of the more serious ones could have been prevented by adhering to safety regulations," he said. Dr. Amar also instructed skiers to stretch beforehand, to avoid cramps and muscle strain, to wear warm protective gear, and to don helmets.
"I urge all visitors to Mount Hermon to avoid unnecessary risks and to know their physical limits, so they don’t end a fun day in the hospital," he said.
However, he added, if you are injured on the slopes, "you must stop immediately and make sure to have a doctor examine you. What appears to be a mild injury can easily become a serious injury if it's not diagnosed and treated in a timely manner, he said.
"With all the excitement and joy that the snow on Mount Hermon brings, we must remember that skiing and safety should go hand in hand."