SEVERE WX: Fire Weather Watch View Alerts

Frostbite is More Than Cold Fingers

When the temperatures plummet to single and even negative digits, it doesn’t take long for frostbite to set in.

Posted: Jan. 3, 2018 8:50 AM

CLEVELAND – When the temperatures plummet to single and even negative digits, it doesn’t take long for frostbite to set in.


According to Tom Waters, M.D., an emergency department physician at Cleveland Clinic, frostbite occurs when the soft tissues of the skin begin to freeze.

“You actually get freezing of the water in the soft tissue and it causes damage on a microscopic and a macroscopic level,” said Dr. Waters. “As the extremities begin to become frost-bitten, the tissue damage continues to increase,”

Dr. Waters said frostbite most commonly effects the extremities, like the fingers, nose, toes and face.

Symptoms of frostbite include pain in the affected area, as well as discoloration of the skin.

The extent of frostbite damage can depend on just how cold the temperature is and how long someone is exposed.

Dr. Waters said the colder it is, the quicker frostbite can occur.

Young children and the elderly, as well as those who have chronic illness or spend a lot of time outdoors are most susceptible to frostbite.

If a person potentially has frostbite, Dr. Waters said it’s vital to get them indoors as soon as possible and then get to the emergency department to get them checked by a physician, because the damage can be worse than it appears.

“Ultimately you can lose fingers, digits or extremities,” said Dr. Waters. “Often the damage is more severe than it appears to be initially, so it’s very important once you identify a possible frostbite victim to get those extremities warmed up and keep them warm – don’t let them re-freeze.”

Dr. Waters said the key to preventing frostbite is to limit time outdoors during dangerously cold temperatures. For those who have to venture outdoors, it’s important to keep extremities like the hands, ears and face covered and to keep clothes dry.

Article Comments

Medford
Broken Clouds
52° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 52°
Brookings
Clear
59° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 59°
Crater Lake
Scattered Clouds
41° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 36°
Grants Pass
Clear
45° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 45°
Klamath Falls
Scattered Clouds
41° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 36°
Cool & Breezy Sunday
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Latest Video

Image

SOU Moves to 4-0 with First Shut Out Since 2003

Image

Smart Meter Workshop Met with Protesters

Image

Cool End to the Weekend

Image

Friday Night Blitz Week Four

Image

FNB Week Four

Image

VIDEO FORECAST: Fall-like Weekend

Image

New Resident Deputy Program in Josephine County

Image

First Heroin Overdose In Hawthorne Park This Year

Image

Smart Meter Concerns in Rogue Valley

Image

Friday Football Forecast - Southridge vs. Grants Pass

Community Events