Stay warm, avoid frostbite and hypothermia

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Dangerously low temperatures across the Miami Valley have local emergency rooms concerned.

“Our bodies are designed to keep the major organs warm. We need our heart, lungs and our brains to be warm. That’s the key,” said Dr. Nancy Pook, an emergency room doctor for Kettering Health Network.

When our bodies are fighting these frigid temp, .the major organs take priority.

“Sometimes we shut off the blood supply to our fingers and toes so that we preserve the heart and keep it warm,” said Dr. Pook.

Hypothermia is deadly and frostbite can lead to permanent damage.

The CDC says on average more than 10,000 people die in the U.S. per year because of hypothermia.

“When you start to feel pain. That’s a big warning sign that we need to stop. Sadly, what we see is that there are other reasons why people can’t recognize that’s the case,” said Dr. Pook.

Seniors, children and people with disabilities are at higher risk for hypothermia.

That also goes for people under the influence.

Overall, Kettering Health Network has seen some cold related cases come through their doors. However, doctors say people are doing a good job of protecting themselves from the bitter cold.

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