Lakewood, NJ ----- Below average temperatures will continue to be in the forecast for the next several days throughout the entire Northeast. Such extreme weather conditions can cause frostbite, which can become extremely dangerous.
“Frostbite typically affects smaller, more exposed areas of the body including the face, nose, hands and feet,” explains William Dalsey, MD, Medical Director of the Emergency Department at Kimball Medical Center. “The risk for frostbite increases for those who are taking certain medications for heart conditions, or those who have circulatory problems such as narrowing of the arteries.”
The first sign of frostbite is a slightly painful, tingling sensation that is often followed by numbness. The skin may look pale and hard, and is very cold to the touch. Frostbite treatment is considered an emergency situation, and should be treated as such.
Dr. Dalsey recommends these tips to preventing and treating frostbite:
- Wear proper attire outside including a hat, earmuffs, scarf, gloves, coat and warm shoes.
- Gradually warm the affected areas as soon as possible. If you are outside, tuck frostbitten hands into the armpits or cover the face, nose and ears with dry, gloved hands.
- Do not rub frostbitten skin. Gently wiggle fingers and toes to increase blood circulation.
- Get out of the cold as quickly as possible. Once indoors, put frostbitten hands or feet in water slightly above normal body temperature, between 100 – 105 degrees Fahrenheit. Do not use hot water and do not use heat sources such as a heating pad.
As the skin thaws, it should turn pink or slightly red. You should also feel a tingling or burning sensation as the circulation begin to return. “If you feel any numbness or continuous pain, than you need to go to the Emergency Room for prompt medical treatment,” says Dr. Dalsey.
Kimball Medical Center’s Emergency Department is ranked one of the top in the state of New Jersey for emergency department patient satisfaction and overall care based on recent national Press Ganey patient satisfaction scores, and has maintained this ranking for several years.
For further information about Kimball Medical Center, please call the Barnabas Health Link at 1-888-724-7123.
CONTACT: Carrie Cristello
PH: (732) 923-6552