Medical Experts: People who work outside are at risk for hypothermia and frostbite

Local News

2018 January 15

Rodney Mitchell says after two years of doing carpentry work, he’s  learned that working outside in the cold can be tough, and around this time, layering clothing can be your best bet.

“Like a t-shirt, I got a thermal on, a little long sleeve t-shirt and a jacket,” said Mitchell.
But despite having layer after layer, there are some things that all who work outside say just can’t be avoided.

“You get out here in the mud, even on concrete,” he said. “That concrete is cold. Once my feet get cold, I stay cold. I can’t warm back up unless I take my boots off or sit in front of a heater.”

Nurses at the Medical Center of South Arkansas warn that people who work out in the elements like Mitchell should watch out for frostbite and hypothermia.

“Hypothermia is defined in a medical setting as a temperature below 95.0. Your normal body temperature is 98.6, so that’s only a little over a 3-degree difference.”

Signs include confusion and slower movement.

Nurses even say if the person stops shivering that could be a tell-tale sign, and action should be taken quickly.

“Get them out of the elements, make sure to get them in a warmer area, get them in there where it’s some heat. If their clothing is wet, get that wet clothing off of them,” said Kendall Wilson, Trauma Program Manager said.

As for workers like Mitchell,  his only advice is

“Just bundle up and be safe.”

And protect yourself the best way you can as the temperature take a plunge.

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