Doctors warn of hypothermia, frost bite in extreme temperatures - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Doctors warn of hypothermia, frost bite in extreme temperatures

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

It's a simple equation: the colder it gets, the easier it gets to get in trouble in this extreme weather.

The warning tonight is if you don't have to be outside, stay in. If you do, bundle up in layers and limit the time you're out.

Doctors are hoping people take that advice to keep cases of hypothermia and frost bite out of emergency rooms.

"We don't see a whole lot of frostbite in South Carolina, but with the upcoming polar blast, that is certainly a possibility," said Dr. Todd Crump, an emergency room physician at Lexington Medical Center.

Crump says there's also an increased threat of hypothermia.

"With severe hypothermia, shivering stops, the skin turns blue, the heart rate goes down, and people even go in to cardiac arrest," said Crump.

Keeping warm is essential. Crump recommends dressing in layers of loose clothing, take breaks, and warm up if you have to be outside.

On the flip side, he says, stay safe staying warm indoors. Don't bring things like grills or fire pits inside for heat. Leave space around portable heaters and be aware of carbon monoxide.

"Every year we see hundreds of deaths because of these inappropriate heating devices," said Crump.

Copyright 2014 WIS. All rights reserved.

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