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Health concerns for Hoosiers due to dangerously cold temperatures

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Feb. 10, 2016)-- Temperatures keep on dropping across central Indiana and we are all feeling the effects of the icy wintry weather that can be hazardous to the body.

The two most common weather-related issues that doctors are seeing right now are hypothermia and frostbite. In these frigid temperatures, frostbite and hypothermia can happen in 30 minutes or less. Hypothermia is when the body loses heat faster than it can be produced, dropping the body temperature to an extremely low level. When body temperature is too low, it can affect the brain.

The winter weather can also freeze the skin and tissue, causing frostbite.  Common side effects of frost bite are numbness and tingling in the fingers and toes and also a change in skin color. Doctors say people should avoid being outside for prolonged periods of time and should have their skin completely covered.

“Typically people’s fingers, ears, nose, cheeks become numb and tingly and then you see the color changes. It can progress to blisters and gangrene from there,” says Dr. Bart Brown of St. Vincent Hospital.

If you believe you have hypothermia or frostbite, get out of the cold weather right away. Medical professionals also suggest submerging your hand into warm water until you get the feeling back in your extremities.

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