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Your health first: Staying warm and avoiding frostbite

Your health first staying warm and avoiding frostbite

With subzero temperatures, frostbite can set in in minutes. Frostbite is what happens when your body’s tissue gets too cold and freezes. Your ears, fingers, nose and toes are the most at risk. An ER doctor in Bismarck says some of the signs to look for are numbing, tingling and even a burning sensation.

“You know, a lot of us are just getting in our cars and things, so the time of exposure to the cold to those fingers, toes, nose and toes is probably not that long. But if you’re out there for long periods of time, maybe a farmer, rancher that has to go travel long-distance walking or something, those are the ones we worry about,” said Dr. Benji Kitagawa, emergency & trauma medicine physician at CHI St. Alexius Health Bismarck.

To avoid frostbite make sure you are completely covered, but if you forget your gloves, you can soak your hands in warm water once you’re inside. If you notice discoloration, it might be time to seek medical attention.

“We warm things rapidly so that we get the tissues back to normal, but also there’s sometimes some interventional radiological procedures help the microcirculation. The circulation you can imagine the bloodstream to different parts of the tissues involved,” said Dr. Kitagawa. Dr. Kitagawa says they also have seen cases of hypothermia with older patients who have fallen and can’t get up off the floor of their own homes. Heat rises and floors tend to be chilly, even in a heated house.

Nikiya Carrero Reporting 

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