The polar vortex may be moving out of our area, but it brought to the forefront the very important issue of protection against extreme cold. Schools were closed, business suspended and travel was limited to avoid exposure to the sub-zero temperatures and even more extreme wind chill. The average person was left with a renewed appreciation for the damage the extreme freeze can cause, which is in some cases fatal for very vulnerable people. While that extreme is more unlikely, it’s easier than you may think to feel the symptoms of frostbite, or damage to the skin as a result of freezing temperatures.
The name may be familiar, but you may not know the details of this condition. Frostbite can be identified first as areas of redness or pain on exposed skin due to cold temperatures. The colder the temperature, the less time the skin can be safely exposed. According to the National Weather Service, with a temperature of 0 degrees Fahrenheit and 15mph wind, frostbite can occur less than 30 minutes. At -10 Fahrenheit, that time can drop to just 10 minutes. Some may take being numb as a normal consequence of being outside and not a problem, but it’s the first stage of a serious process. At the first encounter of these symptoms, it is best to head inside immediately and warm up to avoid greater complications and prevent frostbite.
When the affected individual is back in a warm location, there are a few steps you can take. First, try to get into a relaxed position and do not walk or use the area affected, as that can increase the damage. Next, immerse the affected skin in warm water, but not hot water. Test the water with an area not affected by frostbite, and it should be warm to the touch but not overpowering. That includes unnatural sources of heat, such as a fireplace or radiator. Sometimes when a person is extremely cold they can underestimate the damaging high temperatures. If water is unavailable, body heat can be a useful substitute, such as an armpit.
If you’re concerned that my have suffered damaging frostbite or you have questions, call Scioto Urgent Care at (614) 789-9464. A medical professional will help you determine the best course of action. The facility is located at: 4760 Sawmill Road, in Columbus, OH. For directions, you can visit the website at http://sciotourgentcare.com/hours-directions
“I believe that the average person underestimates their risk of suffering one of these conditions when they’re interacting with the cold. If they follow some easy guidelines, and stay alert, they should have no trouble,” says Scioto Urgent Care, Doctor Marc Pesa.
Scioto Urgent Care also uses the latest treatment protocols to handle a variety of non-emergency conditions such as fever, flu, colds, minor burns, cuts and abrasions requiring stitches, sprains, strains and fractures, and conditions such as sore throat or runny nose, ear, eye, minor infections, minor aches and pains.
Scioto Urgent Care Scioto Urgent Care is one of central Ohio’s leading urgent care facilities. Located on the Northwest side of Columbus (near Dublin & Upper Arlington) the urgent care center has been treating patients since early 2004. Scioto Urgent Care is a convenient health care alternative when your regular family physician is closed or you can’t get a timely appointment. The Northwest Columbus urgent care location is open everyday, including weekends and holidays. You do not need to be a regular Scioto Urgent Care health care patient to enjoy our convenience and medical care. No appointment is necessary. Just walk in and receive care when you need it most.
Marc Pesa, Scioto Urgent Care 4760 Sawmill Road Columbus, OH 43235
Phone: (614) 789-9464
Samantha Rufo, nxtConcepts 740-815-6925