Dangers of the cold in the Northland; preventing hypothermia

By KBJR News 1

December 10, 2013 Updated Dec 10, 2013 at 11:18 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - With extremely cold temperatures sticking around in the Northland, activities outdoors can spell danger if precautions aren't taken.

Extreme cold temperatures call for extreme measures.

As many of us know in the Northland, hypothermia and frostbite lurk around every exposed body part.

Frost bite occurs when skin and tissue freezes after being exposed to cold temperatures.

Skin nipped by the frost turns to white or pink and can even lead to burning and blistering deep into tissues.

"This can be a very serious injury. If left untreated it can progress to mummification of the area and possible need for amputation." Said Assistant Head Nurse, Andy Krubsack.

After coming in from the cold, it is important to warm up areas experiencing freezing slowly to prevent further damage.

"If those areas are warmed too quickly you can actually cause more cellular damage." Said Krubsack.

Hypothermia is the result of a lowered body temperature from exposure to cold.

Experts say severe cases can lead to confused states with irrational behavior, and alcohol is known to increase the risk.

"The is wearing additional layers of clothing, keeping covered, having good head gear, a lot of our heat is lost off of our mind." Said Krubsack.
Keeping *in mind* the dangers of frostbite are very real.

It is important to avoid alcohol consumption if you know that you will be outside in the cold for even a moderate amount of time.

Experts say alcohol has been known to contribute to at least one-third or more of hypothermia cases.

Bryce Henry
bhenry@kjbr.com

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