BUFFALO, N.Y. – As the mercury dips below zero, hospitals across New York are preparing for more patient arrivals. The lower temperatures increase the risk of frostbite and hypothermia but some physicians are already seeing a spike in winter weather-related injuries.
According to Catholic Health in Buffalo, doctors are getting more patients with snow blower, slip and fall injuries and chest pain.
In colder temperatures, doctors say the cardiovascular system gets slightly constricted which can often lead to heart attacks and overexertion. For those working outside, there’s also an extreme risk for conditions like frostbite, which occurs when the skin is exposed to extreme cold for too long.
“There’s a wind chill watch in more than 30 New York counties,” construction accident attorney, Steve Barnes said. “In those conditions, it only takes 30 minutes to develop signs of frostbite.”
Doctors suggest covering as much skin as possible with a layer of clothing to avoid exposure to the elements.
The cold weather can also impact the surroundings, making your daily routine much more hazardous.
“The extreme cold can increase the risk for a slip and fall, a car accident, construction accident, you name it,” Barnes said. “Water pipes may have a tendency to burst in this weather and that can create a messy and dangerous situation.”
Water can freeze in just minutes, depending on the surface type and location. Doctors and car accident lawyers suggest staying in a warm area, if possible. Otherwise, using sound judgment and wearing layers of clothing during a deep freeze can decrease your risk of injury.