Physician: Don't mess around with frostbite

hand in cold
Risk of frostbite Photo credit Getty Images

(WBBM NEWSRADIO) — Plummeting temperatures are prompting a warning from local health officials about frostbite.

With the chance of windchills of 25 below zero in the coming days, an emergency physician says frostbite can occur in less than a half hour.

“That means that any exposed skin can actually freeze, which destroys and skin and the tissue there,” Dr. Robert Feldman of Stroger Hospital said Tuesday.

frostbite chart
Illustration of stages of frostbite Photo credit Getty Images

Feldman said he’s already seen several frostbite patients this winter, including some who had to go to the burn unit for treatment.

Warm clothes that cover extremities are essential, he said. People should also have a cell phone handy, in case they fall.