Recurring cold snaps are the theme of this winter. With cold air being pushed down from the poles by a collapsing Arctic vortex, people around the country are being exposed to winter temperatures that are 15 to 30 degrees below normal. In response to the severe weather, Philly.com recently ran an article from Health Day News with advice from medical professionals on dealing with the extreme cold.
Hypothermia and frostbite are two most dangerous cold-weather conditions people should guard against. Frostbite, on the other hand, starts first as tingling or stinging sensations that later progress into numbness. The skin can also become red and painful before it becomes discolored and numb.
The former is marked by shivering, drowsiness, and impaired cognitive function. In order to protect against hypothermia, doctors advise dressing warmly with extra layers of clothing to provide the necessary insulation to retain body heat. Wearing a jacket or coat with a non-permeable outer layer is also recommended to minimize the effects of strong wind.
To guard against frostbite, people should make sure to always protect their extremities against the cold. An extra pair of socks and properly fitted insulated winter boots should be worn to protect the feet, while the fingers should be kept warm in mittens.
With the body requiring plenty of energy to keep warm, replacing lost fluids is also very important—even if the cold might dissuade you from doing so. To aid your body’s heating processes further, hot drinks should be consumed whenever possible.
If any of the signs of hypothermia or frostbite creep up, it is advisable to seek urgent care in Tacoma – like many operated by U.S. HealthWorks Medical Group – right away. If getting to a medical facility is out of the question, warm up affected areas of the body with warm water. Drinking hot, non-alcoholic beverages should also help to raise your body temperature to safer levels.
Regardless of whether you are able to provide sufficient first aid for either hypothermia or frostbite, however, visiting a Tacoma walk-in clinic should be your priority as soon as you can manage to do so.
(Article Information and Image from Dealing With The Deep Freeze, Philly.com, January 23, 2014)