How to Avoid Cold Weather-Related Injuries - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

How to Avoid Cold Weather-Related Injuries

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Hypothermia and severe frostbite can set in quickly in sub-zero temperatures.

Eric Weber with Lansing Fire says its not uncommmon for the fire department to get rescue calls for people literally freezing to death.

"If they're shivering and you can see that their hands, their extremities are starting to look ashen. We get them out of that environment," said Weber.
     
Severe cases of frostbite or hypothermia are typically taken to the emergency room--a practice not uncommon to Dr. John Dery at Sparrow Hospital.

"Every single shift, every day we see these guys come in, usually are homeless, or people who've been outside for too long," said Dr. Dery, an emergency room doctor Sparrow Hospital.  "Blood starts to shunt away from your nonessential parts of your body: your fingers, your nose, your toes. It tries to shunt all the blood to the center to keep your heart and your lungs warm."

Dery says that the skin loses around 65 percent of its heat from radiation and with temperatures like we've had recently, it doesn't take long for weather-related injuries to kick in.

"You'll definitely feel that prickly sensation on your fingers and toes--that only takes just a few minutes," he says. "Properly dress for cold weather, but it you have to be out a long time, maybe take breaks occasionally."

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