Medical professionals offer advice to deal with the cold - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Medical professionals offer advice to deal with the cold

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Ashley Thoene Ashley Thoene
Dr. Thomas Cunningham Dr. Thomas Cunningham

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – As a result of the bitter cold temperatures that gripped WAVE Country, two people were brought to University of Louisville Hospital for treatment of hypothermia. They were treated using the Arctic Sun, a machine that is ready to help stop people from freezing to death by using bouts of warm water.

"You either want to warm them or bring them up to normal temperature or you're going to want to do the hypothermia protocol," explained Ashley Thoene, a charge nurse at University Hospital.

Monday saw some of the coldest temperatures in 20 years for the Louisville Metro area. Dr. Thomas Cunningham said how much you feel the cold can depend on your metabolic rate. But the weather can be deceiving.

"Even though you may not feel like you're losing heat, especially with the wind chill being what it is," warned Dr. Cunningham.

The wind chill was expected at minus 20. In that cold, hypothermia can take hold quickly.

"Your body is not able to keep the heat in when the wind chill is below zero," Dr. Cunningham said.

About 30 minutes of exposure can lead to frostbite something they haven't seen here recently. Some parts of the body are harder to keep warm.

"My feet is what's really cold in this weather," one woman told us.

"My face that's kind of frozen," her mom said. "It hurts."

Dr. Cunningham said that even covering up your head and face is vital. You can lose up to 30 percent of your body heat if you don't.

The doctor also warns that it can be especially hard for children to keep their bodies warm. While toddlers do not have the ability to shiver, which is the mechanism our bodies use to keep warm.

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