Bitterly cold temperatures are currently sweeping the country necessitating more than usual care to bundle up and keep warm to prevent frostbite, hypothermia, amputations, or death.
The sad story of 19-year-old Alyssa Jo Lommel's December 22nd near-death experience relates just how serious hypothermia can be. She is lucky to be alive but is still in the hospital facing amputations to save her life. Read about her ordeal here.
This is what you should know about protecting yourself from the extreme cold.
Freezing temperatures do not affect all people the same way; one person may develop frostbite within 30 minutes while it may take only 5-10 minutes for someone else with the same protection and exposure.
Avoid alcohol and coffee before or during exposure; they lower a person's core temperature causing one to be more susceptible to hypothermia injuries.
Tingling, burning, or itching of skin are warning signs.
Treatment after exposure should be gradual using warm water or compresses rather than hot alternatives.
Never rub or massage frostbitten areas; skin is more fragile and susceptible to damage.
When discovering white waxy patches on the skin (signifying skin death) a 911 call is appropriate and necessary.
In severe cases, doctors may administer TPA, a clot-busting drug normally used at the onset of a stroke, to get circulation going more quickly.
Posted by Note Taker