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cold

  • Recognize Frostbite

    We share a bit about Frostbite last year and want to remind all that it is a danger this time of year.

    Don’t let Jack Frost nip at your nose. Protect yourself from frostbite with information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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    Frostbite is an injury caused by freezing. It most often affects the nose, ears, cheeks, chin, fingers, or toes. Frostbite can permanently damage the body and severe cases can lead to amputation. The risk of frostbite is increased in people with reduced blood circulation and among people who are not dressed properly for extremely cold temperatures.

    At the first signs of redness or pain in any skin area, get out of the cold or protect any exposed skin—frostbite may be beginning. Any of the following signs may indicate frostbite:

    • White or grayish-yellow skin area.
    • Skin that feels unusually firm or waxy.
    • Numbness.

    As soon as you detect the symptoms of frostbite, seek medical care. If immediate medical care is not available, proceed as follows:

    • Get into a warm room as soon as possible.
    • Don’t rub the frostbitten area with snow or massage it at all. This can cause more damage.
    • Unless absolutely necessary, do not walk on frostbitten feet or toes as this increases the damage.
    • Immerse the affected area in warm—not hot—water (the temperature should be comfortable to the touch for unaffected parts of the body).
    • Don’t use a heating pad, heat lamp, or the heat of a stove, fireplace, or radiator for warming. Affected areas are numb and can be easily burned.

    Taking preventive action is your best defense against having to deal with extreme cold-weather conditions. For more information on frostbite, visit the CDC’s Frostbite page.

    Also read:

    Cold Stress & Related Illness and How can cold stress be prevented?

  • Hypothermia

    It is cold. This is dangerous. Whether at home or at work, you should understand the signs and symptoms of cold stress and cold-related injuries and act to prevent them.

    Hypothermia

    HypothermiaWhen exposed to cold temperatures, your body begins to lose heat faster than it can be produced. Prolonged exposure to cold will eventually use up your body's stored energy. The result is hypothermia, or abnormally low body temperature. A body temperature that is too low affects the brain, making the victim unable to think clearly or move well. This makes hypothermia particularly dangerous because a person may not know it is happening and will not be able to do anything about it.

    Symptoms

    Symptoms of hypothermia can vary depending on how long you have been exposed to the cold temperatures.

    Early Symptoms:

    • Shivering
    • Fatigue
    • Loss of coordination
    • Confusion and disorientation

    Late Symptoms:

    • No shivering
    • Blue skin
    • Dilated pupils
    • Slowed pulse and breathing
    • Loss of consciousness

    First Aid...

    Take the following steps to treat a worker with hypothermia:

    • Alert the supervisor and request medical assistance.
    • Move the victim into a warm room or shelter.
    • Remove their wet clothing.
    • Warm the center of their body first-chest, neck, head, and groin-using an electric blanket, if available; or use skin-to-skin contact under loose, dry layers of blankets, clothing, towels, or sheets.
    • Warm beverages may help increase the body temperature, but do not give alcoholic beverages. Do not try to give beverages to an unconscious person.
    • After their body temperature has increased, keep the victim dry and wrapped in a warm blanket, including the head and neck.
    • If victim has no pulse, begin cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

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