A cold front is expected to move across Iowa late tonight, plunging temperatures and pushing wind chill factors as low as 30-degrees below zero. Dr. Bob Muellman, director of emergency services at the Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, says frostbite is a serious concern and everyone should recognize the symptoms.
Muellman says those symptoms include: “Pain, numbness, tingling in the exposed areas, particularly the fingers, the toes, nose, ears.” A wide section of Iowa will be under a Wind Chill Advisory late tonight through noon tomorrow (Tuesday). Muellman says along with frostbite, hypothermia is another big concern when it gets this cold.
“The first symptom would be severe shivering and then if it progresses, confusion starts in and that would progress to coma and then slowing of the heart rate,” Muellman says. “It can be fatal.” With bitter cold wind chills, he says frostbite can happen in just a few minutes.
“If it’s mild, you just start feeling the symptoms, maybe get a little bit of a blanching,” he says. “Either cover up that area or remove yourself from the environment.” Dr. Muellman says mild cases of frostbite can be treated at home, but medical attention should be sought for more serious cases as well as hypothermia, if suspected. He adds, it’s very important to cover up and stay dry if you have to be outside for a prolonged period of time. See the latest on the forecast by visiting: “weather-dot-gov”.