South Carolina typically doesn’t see extremely cold weather. However, cold weather has the potential to be dangerous, so it’s important to know what to do when the freezing temperatures decide to creep up on us. Steve Shelton, MD, Palmetto Health’s medical director of Emergency Management, shares tips on how to brave the cold:
Extreme temperatures can cause extreme things to happen to the body, such as hypothermia. The elderly, very young, people who work outside and the homeless are at high risk for hypothermia. Here are some of the symptoms to look out for:
If you think that you or someone you know is experiencing hypothermia, find somewhere warm indoors, warm the core (abdomen, neck and chest) first and seek medical attention.
When trying to warm your home, Shelton said it’s important to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. “Carbon monoxide is a tasteless, odorless and colorless gas that you can be exposed to. It replaces the oxygen in your blood and can create a very life-threatening situation,” Shelton said. Here are some tips to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning:
Some symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include:
Remember to stay safe this winter. If you or someone you know experiences any of the symptoms mentioned above, seek medical attention immediately. For more information about Palmetto Health, visit PalmettoHealth.org.