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Frostbite, Hypothermia Still A Threat This Winter

January 28, 2014, 7:09 AM by Stephanie Gregory

Frostbite, Hypothermia Still A Threat This Winter
SIOUX FALLS, SD -

After a slight warm up on Wednesday, highs will be in the 20s for the next few weeks. Doctors say it is not the time to forget about those hats, gloves and warm coats.

We are all dreaming of a nice warm up, but KELOLAND Meteorologist Scot Mundt is the bearer of bad news.

"Looks like another cold week in store,” Mundt said.

With the cold weather sticking around for awhile longer, cold weather injuries are still a real threat.

"Generally frostbite is probably the number one. We do see hypothermia, as well, in some patients that have been outside for an extended amount of time," ER Physician Dr. Marc McSherry said.

McSherry says he see frostbite or hypothermia more often in the elderly or children.

"Frostbite is a lot more common. Kids will be outside playing a little too long and they won't notice that their toes are getting tingly," McSherry said.

But, the cold weather danger can affect anyone. McSherry uses a machine called a "Bair Hugger" when patients come into the ER and need help warming up when their body drops to dangerously low temperatures. 

To keep the temperature management blanket away from you, McSherry says to be prepared and layer up when going outside and be mindful of what liquids you consume.

"Stay away from caffeinated beverages, warm sugary beverages are probably better, but caffeine probably worsens the problem," McSherry said.

McSherry's suggestions are good things to be mindful of because this weather is sticking around for a while longer.

"It look like it could end up going through much of the month of February, at least through that first week of February. Then we'll see what happens after that," Mundt said.           

McSherry says frostbite happens in the ears, nose, fingers and toes most often because they have the least amount of blood flow to them.

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