San Antonio area hospitals treating patients for hypothermia, frostbite, other injuries related to severe weather

Medical experts share tips on how to stay safe during cold weather

Area hospitals concerned in a rise in carbon monoxide poisonings, hypothermia amid winter storm
Area hospitals concerned in a rise in carbon monoxide poisonings, hypothermia amid winter storm

SAN ANTONIO – The extreme cold temperatures are already sending people to the hospital.

“For hypothermia currently we have six patients at our downtown Baptist hospital and one patient with hypothermia at Resolute in New Braunfels. And we even have cases of frostbite,” Dr. Monica Chopra, Baptist Health Physicians Network said.

The Centers for Disease Control and prevention said redness or pain in any area of the skin may be the first sign of frostbite.

Other symptoms include a white or grayish-yellow skin area, if the skin feels firm or waxy, and numbness.

“You’ll start to get very cold and then you may lose consciousness,” Dr. Lillian Lao, Pediatric Trauma Medical Director of University Hospital said explaining hypothermia. “Some of the signs that’s different in very young children and babies is that instead their bodies will be cold, but their skin color will become reddish.”

Doctors say they are also concerned about carbon monoxide poisoning.

“Try to remember not to use your gas stove and your oven as warming devices because that could result in carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is an odorless gas, ” Liao said.

The CDC said signs of carbon monoxide poisoning are headache, dizziness, weakness, upset stomach, vomiting, chest pain and confusion.

Doctors said to stay inside your home as much as possible during these cold days.

“Put on a few layers of socks, a few layers of shirts and pants, get as many of your blankets together as possible, sharing heat from each other during this time, cuddled close to your children and with your family, Chopra said.

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