CHI Health warns of health concerns related to extreme cold
KEARNEY, NE — Nebraska health officials are urging people to avoid exposure to the extreme cold this week.
Experts at CHI Health say staying outside for too long with wind chill values that are more than 40 degrees below zero can cause several severe health problems. St. Elizabeth Burn Center Community Educator Eric Jensen says frost bite can happen quickly in areas with exposed skin. It starts with redness and numbness… but can lead to blisters and much worse results.
“Early treatment is of the utmost importance. If we see those blisterings, get them in to be treated, evaluated early," Jensen said. "We typically have 24-36 hours… where we can do some of those special treatments if we do have the more extreme cases of frostbite to be able to try to save some of those appendages.”
Forecasters say freezing drizzle is expected to hit south-central Nebraska before snow on Wednesday. CHI Good Samaritan Trauma Outreach Coordinator Tracy Rademacher says the hospital in Kearney has seen lots of patients with hip fractures from falls.
“There was a couple of them that had the fall while they were getting in or out of a vehicle," Rademacher said. "It’s important that people are making sure that they are taking their time getting in and out of vehicles, making sure you have a good handhold, making sure your feet have a good base before you stand up and put your weight on it.”
CHI officials say hypothermia is also a concern someone spends too long outside over the next few days.