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What’s going around: Frostbite and hypothermia

MONROE (WKOW) — Even though relief is in sight soon, medical professionals are still very concerned about you in the historic cold.

At least eight people have died from the weather we’ve been having the last few days.

Dr. Franz Keilhauer is the Emergency Room Medical Director at the Monroe Clinic. He says frostbite and hypothermia can both still happen.

In severe cases, frostbite can lead to amputation, so Dr. Keilhauer says get medical attention right away if you are feeling numb or your skin is yellow-white or patchy blue. In the meantime you can treat it yourself by holding skin under warm (not hot) water, drinking something warm (non-alcoholic) and making sure you’re not rubbing the area.

Meanwhile, extreme cases of hypothermia can lead to death from your body temperature dropping dangerously low, so Dr. Keilhauer says to call 911 right away if someone has exceptionally cold skin, is drowsy or disoriented or loses muscle control.  While waiting for help, you can remove any wet clothing and wrap them in something warm.

Dr. Keilhauer says if we get another bitter cold stretch like this, and you have to venture out, have emergency supplies in your car and wear layers and winter accessories.

Caroline Bach

Anchor, 27 News at 11

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