Winter Toll: Over Two Dozen Dead, Hundreds Hurt

CHICAGO (AP) — The dangerous cold and heavy snow that hobbled the northern U.S. this week has retreated, but not before exacting a human toll: more than two dozen weather-related deaths in eight states and hundreds of injuries, including frostbite, broken bones, heart attacks and carbon monoxide poisoning. In Illinois alone, hospitals reported more than 220 cases of frostbite and hypothermia since Tuesday, when the polar vortex moved in and overnight temperatures plunged to minus 30 (minus 34 Celsius) or lower — with wind chills of minus 50 (minus 45 Celsius) or worse in some areas. Hennepin Healthcare in Minneapolis normally sees around 30 frostbite patients in an entire winter. It admitted 18 in the past week, spokeswoman Christine Hill said Friday. "I definitely saw more frostbite than I've ever seen in my entire career just in the last three days," said Dr. Andrea Rowland-Fischer, an emergency department physician at Hennepin Healthcare. Most of those patients, she said, had underlying problems that made it difficult for them to take care of themselves: the developmentally delayed, the mentally ill, the very young and the very old. They also included people with injuries related to drugs and alcohol — people who passed out or did not realize they were cold or injured. "It's heartbreaking when there are people who can't take care of themselves and get exposed, just because they either escape from the care that they're being given or because...
Source: JEMS: Journal of Emergency Medical Services News - Category: Emergency Medicine Tags: Patient Care News Source Type: news

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