Doctors warn about frostbite with frigid temperatures

by: Mike Petchenik Updated:


ATLANTA - When the temperatures get as low as they are expected to get on Tuesday, being outside for even a few minutes can be dangerous.

Channel 2's Mike Petchenik talked to a doctor about the signs and symptoms of frostbite.

As the temperature continues to drop outside, not everyone has the luxury of being inside in these dangerous conditions.

Construction workers have been working outside all day Monday, making them prime candidates for frostbite.

It can hurt to just standing outside for any length of time.

But for Edgar Mora and his cohorts, they don't have that choice. They work for a demolition company, rain or shine, hot or cold.

"That's why we dress up like workers outside," Mora told Petchenik.

That includes two pairs of gloves and a good pair of boots. Tractor operator John Birdsong told Petchenik he'll be working in spurts the next couple of days.

"Just make sure you got plenty of layers on," is Mora's advice for battling the cold, along with breaks every hour or so from the extreme cold.

North Fulton Hospital emergency room Dr. Jigar Patel said this is prime frostbite weather.

"Patients can start to experience symptoms within minutes. They may be mild at first but get more serious as time goes on," Patel told Petchenik.

Patel said children, the elderly and people who have to work outside are most susceptible to the dangerous condition.

"Some of the symptoms are tingling of hands and feet, pain. You'll see paleness of the skin, decreased blood flow to the exposed parts," Patel said.

Left untreated, Patel said frostbitten folks could suffer from long-term effects.

Patel's best advice is to cover your ears, your hands, your face and don't leave them exposed to the elements for too long if you have to be outside.

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