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Protect Yourself From Serious Health Problems In The Cold

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An emergency room doctor says they've been seeing patients who have been negatively affected by the recent outbreak of snow and cold.

Dr. Rick Broadhead is Medical Director of Emergency Services for Howard Young Medical Center in Woodruff and Eagle River Hospital. He says heart patients should be very careful when shoveling...

"..People, especially people with a history of heart disease, need to be aware that they really need to limit their activity and not over do it..."

He says another issue is prolonged exposure in the very cold temperatures...

"..Prolonged cold exposure can lead to a variety of issues. Frostbite, especially involving fingers, toes, ears, nose, anything that is exposed skin. In its extreme form, cold injury causes hypothermia which is a decrease in the temperature of the entire body and that can be a life-threatening situation...."

Dr. Broadhead says a large portion of your body heat is lost through your head, so wearing a warm hat outdoors is essential. He says layer up with several layers of clothing, including a wind and water proof outer layer and insulated gloves. He says during this cold and snowy time, the emergency rooms have seen cold exposure and people with heart problems.

He says there's also been injuries related to activities, including people on ladders and roofs trying to get the snow off the roof. He says some people have suffered falls with significant injuries.

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