WNYT NewsChannel 13: Frostbite a Real Danger in the Bitter Cold

NewsChannel 13’s Benita Zahn visited the new Samaritan Hospital Emergency Department on Friday to speak with Dr. John Janikas about the dangers of extreme cold weather.

While slips and falls on icy surfaces are certainly dangerous, ,Dr. Janikas, director of emergency medicine for Samaritan, St. Mary’s, and Albany Memorial hospitals, said in cold weather it is particularly important guard against frostbite and hypothermia.

From the story:

“Usually you can start feeling some numbness, so the nerves get affected and all of a sudden the fingertips turn kind of white-ish, kind of pale-ish and then you can really lose complete sensation and you can start getting tissue damage at that point,” explained Dr. John Janikas, the director of emergency medicine at Samaritan Hospital.

While the very young and very old are most at risk, alcohol consumption also increases the risk, because alcohol dilates blood vessels so body heat escapes more quickly.

“Where people get in trouble is they have some drinks and then they end up outside, they lose track of time and then they’re not properly clothed. Next thing they get hypothermic or have frostbite injuries,” pointed out Janikas.

Click here to watch the video.

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