Professor’s fall leads to McCreless repair

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Paramedics carry math Professor Paula McKenna to a chair after she slipped on the stairs because the non-skid strips were worn Feb. 21 in McCreless. Photo by Mandy Derfler

Paramedics carry math Professor Paula McKenna to a chair after she slipped on the stairs because the non-skid strips were worn Feb. 21 in McCreless. Photo by Mandy Derfler

By Neven Jones

njones4@student.alamo.edu

Math Professor Paula McKenna slipped as she was walking up the stairs to her office in McCreless Hall about 7:50 a.m. Feb. 21 because the non-skid strips were worn.

“I fell because the strips were not on the stairs,” she said. The stairs have been slippery for a while, she added.

Cynthia Morton, secretary in the math department, called EMS because McKenna was unresponsive.

McKenna said Tuesday her blood pressure dropped when she fell.

Four EMS personnel carried her to a nearby conference room because she could not put weight on her legs.

After her blood pressure returned to normal and she realized she was not hurt badly, she declined to go to the emergency room, McKenna said.

McKenna was taken to Texas Med Clinic by her husband, Morton said.

“If I had been able to speak, I probably would have told them to hold off,” she said referring to calling EMS.

McKenna said the medical personnel there took X-rays and nothing was broken.

The college no longer provides a registered nurse so students, faculty and staff are advised to call 911 for emergencies.

Five days later, McKenna said she has limited mobility in her left knee where her leg hit the stair and also has soft tissue bruising.

She returned to campus Monday.

She expects to be back to normal in a week, she said.

McKenna said the non-skid strips were “worn to nothing,” and that there were no strips down the center of the steps.

McKenna has worked here 20 years and can recall the strips being replaced only twice, she said.

The strips were replaced the same day, Morton said.

“This building is so old and it needs maintenance all the time, and I don’t think it gets the maintenance it needs. I really don’t,” McKenna said.

McCreless, built in 1950, was one of the first building on this campus.

Morton called in a work order to replace the strips a year ago, she said.

She tried to retrieve a confirmation email but could not find it.

The strips were changed as a precautionary measure, facilities superintendent, David Ortega said.

The weather was dry when McKenna slipped so he is not sure if she slipped because of the worn non-skid strips, he said.

Ortega is researching the work order Morton submitted, he said.

He did not get back to The Ranger by deadline.

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