In this bitter cold you should know the symptoms of frostbite

In this bitter cold you should know the symptoms of frostbite
19 WX: Cold 2 320

The cold hits you right away. It takes your breath away, even if you're a hearty Clevelander who has been through this before.

"From my experience this is a little more brutal than most," said one man who didn't want to stop long enough to give his name.

These temperatures along with the brutal wind chills can be dangerous. Frostbite is a real concern and the first thing to know when you are out and about, according to Fairview Hospital Emergency Room Doctor James Mark, is that your hands, toes, ears and nose, because of restricted blood flow, are most at risk.

"Sometimes people just aren't thinking about it and try to tough it out and think even though they are cold they can handle it," he said.

In this bitter cold Dr. Mark warns that frostbite can set in very quickly, "The next thing you know, sometimes in as short as 20 or 30 minutes, you can have full blown frostbite."

People who work outside, those waiting for the bus or anyone who must spend at least 20 to 30 minutes outside should, to be safe, be able to recognize the early symptoms of frostbite, "It will start to hurt and get tingly," Dr Mark said, "and then turn red and eventually white."

If you feel that tingling and then the pain do not ignore those symptoms, do what you can to get warmed up because the next step, when frostbite gets very dangerous, comes when you may think that you're starting to adjust to the cold.

"The pain may go away at some point and when that happens you're getting a lot of damage to the tissue," Dr. Mark said.

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