Hospitals prepare for subzero temperatures

CREATED Dec. 11, 2013

  • Print

RACINE-As the mercury dips it is becoming more and more dangerous to be outside for long periods of time.

“This is uncommon for December but not for February in Wisconsin.”

It has been a busy night for Dr. Wyatt Jaffe in the ER at Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare All Saints. At least one of his patients has suffered from Frost bite.

“He was a mechanic he was out changing tires and it blanched his finger tips pretty severally and he is in a lot of pain so I gave him pain medicine. “

Dr. Jaffe explains there are three warning signs to look out for if you think your suffering frost bite.

“Early on you will have pain numbness and some blanching of the skin lost of circulation but eventually you won’t have any pain at all that’s when it gets really serious.”

There are also other factors like touching metal, getting wet and even drinking alcohol that can make symptoms worse.

“Alcohol tends to dilate your blood vessels that make you feel flush so you feel warmer and you actually aren’t warmer and you actually get cold faster.”

When the temperature drops below freezing, Dr. Jaffe and other physicians suggest people should not be outside in the elements for more than 30 minutes at a time.