Putting Your Life at Risk: Frostbite and Hypothermia

As temperatures drop, the risk of hypothermia and frostbite increase.

Frostbite and hypothermia can put your life at risk.
Frostbite is a deadly injury, and one mistake, like too much to drink, can put you at risk.
“People don’t want to pay for a car so they walk. Well body temp starts getting lower, people get tired so they’re just going to sit down in the snow bank for a minute or two and next thing you know we have a real problem,” says Lt. Derik Zimel of Grand Forks PD.
Last night, 23-year-old Mary Walls of Grand Forks and 28-year old Craig Parkhurst of Gilby were brought to the hospital for hypothermia and exposure after allegedly running from police.
“It can be deadly, it can be dangerous and the effects can be life long,” says Altu Family Physician, Dr. Joanne Gaul.
“During last night’s pursuit, the intoxicated female put herself in a dangerous position for severe frost bite. She laid on her coat on a snow bank for over a half hour in the freezing cold.”
But it can happen to anyone.
“Children are easily affected because they start sledding and then they got the wind as they’re coming down the hill and they’re having so much fun they don’t want to stop playing,” says Dr. Gaul.
If you do experience frostbite, running it under hot water can be tempting. But Dr. Gaul advises otherwise.
“Getting it too close to a stove, getting it into hot water you won’t feel a burn happening and you can damage the tissues more,” says Dr. Gaul.

Police say it’s important to carry a winter survival kit in your car when traveling.

Make sure to include extra socks, mittens and blankets, so in case of an emergency, you’re prepared.

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