Emergency rooms fully staffed, prepared for weather-related injuries

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INDIANAPOLIS (Jan. 7, 2014) – The subzero temperatures, heavy snow and icy roads are sending people to local emergency rooms. Doctors are reminding people not to go out doors and to be extremely cautious if they must be outside for any amount of time.

Frostbite can happen in a matter of minutes when temperatures are -10 or lower.

“The places you’re gonna find it first is the fingers and toes, places away from the heart,” said Dr. Eric Savory with Eskenazi Hospital.

“If you’re out just for a matter of minutes, even to the face you could have some issues, so the biggest advice I can say is stay inside if you can,” he said.

Signs of frostbite include discolored skin, skin that feels waxy, and numbness in the affected area.

As of Tuesday morning, Eskenazki Hospital reported 10-15 weather related emergency room visits. Community East hospital physicians had treated several injuries and broken bones from falls on the ice as well as cases of hypothermia and frostbite. Officials with IU Health estimated about 10 percent of E.R. visits were coming from weather related incidents.

The Marion County coroner’s office continues to investigate if cold weather was a factor in four deaths. Police found an elderly woman dead in her backyard Monday.

They believe she had a medical condition or slipped and fell while shoveling.

Doctors and law enforcement officials are reminding those who are able to check on their neighbors, especially those who are elderly or diabetic.