Indianapolis EMS respond to dozens of calls for help in cold

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — It’s been a busy week for Indianapolis EMS crews. They’ve responded to more than a dozen calls for people needing help in the cold since Wednesday.

Crews responded to a total of seven calls on Wednesday for people with frostbite symptoms and five on Thursday. So far on Friday, they’ve treated one patient needing help in the cold.

“They’re going to be cold to touch. They have sort of a waxy skin appearance,” described Scott Campbell, District 4 Lt. for Indianapolis EMS.

Campbell said a call for someone experience frostbite symptoms can range from a sick person to environmental concern. When crews arrive on scene, the first step is to get the patient warmed up. Often times, EMS will use thermal blankets and even give warm IVs to get patients to warm their bodies. The biggest concern is the risk for extremities to be completely frozen or internal injuries from severe exposure to the cold.

“You can have cardiac dysrhythmia so your heart can be more susceptible to disturbances. Your body in a sense is so cold that it shuts down,” Campbell said.

EMS crews also respond to calls for people who are injured from slipping and falling on the ice. During winter months, that’s one of the most common calls for crews.

CBS4 was there when crews responded to call for an elderly man who slipped and fell on the ice. It’s believed he may have broken his leg.

Campbell said it’s important for people to take it slow and bundle up to protect themselves from various weather related injuries.

Frostbite generally happens on the feet, hands, toes, fingers, nose, and ears.

Some signs to look out for:

  • Tingling
  • Numbness
  • Hard and pale skin
  • Loss of feeling

Click here for more safety tips from the Indianapolis Homeland Security.

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