Mount Vernon News

By Mount Vernon News
January 28, 2014 11:42 am EST


MOUNT VERNON — Although very cold temperatures increase the risk of frostbite and hypothermia, area residents are apparently taking the proper precautions to avoid those conditions.

According to Elaine Flowers, infection control nurse at Knox Community Hospital, only one patient suffering from frostbite has been seen there to date.

“That is really good,” Flowers said, “considering the homeless population in the county, individuals with disabilities, young children, elderly people in the area and people with reduced blood circulation. Those are the most vulnerable to cold.”

Generally speaking, Flowers said, exposed skin in frigid temperatures can be damaged within 30 minutes. Frostbite causes a loss of feeling in the exposed areas, such as the nose, ears, cheeks, chin, fingers and toes, and can do permanent damage.

The signs or symptoms of frostbite can include white or grayish-yellow skin, skin that feels unusually firm or waxy, and numbness. Frostbite in babies, Flowers said, typically exhibits more of a reddish color.

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Contact Pamela Schehl

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