• Health & Wellness

    Winter’s Severe Cold Snap Calls for Extra Dose of Caution

snowy winter scene in city parkHospital emergency departments see an influx of weather-related injuries with each icy assault from old man winter. "There are really four types of things that we'll see," says David Nestler, M.D., an emergency medicine specialist at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. "Probably the most common is actually falls. The snow and ice make it easy to slip and fall. We see many, many broken bones because of that," Dr. Nestler says. Weather-related vehicle accidents, heart attacks triggered while shoveling snow and exposure injuries, like frostbite, also send more people to emergency rooms with each new storm.

Slowing down, exercising caution and wearing the proper winter clothing, Dr. Nestler says, will greatly reduce your risk of injury in most situations. With many northern states caught in the grip of sub-zero temperatures this week, Dr. Nestler offers additional insights on frostbite's warning signs and when to seek medical care in this video.

Journalists: Broadcast quality video of Dr. Nestler's comments and b-roll of people out in the extreme cold are available in the downloads. To see a transcript of potential sound bites, click here.  To schedule an interview with Dr. Nestler, contact Kelley Luckstein, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005 or newsbureau@mayo.edu