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Spotting the Warning Signs of Hypothermia

SAYRE, P.A. (18 NEWS) - Much of the country has been experiencing winters icy grip for the last week or so. The Twin-Tiers has not been excluded from this recent arctic blast. There are many dangers when temperatures this cold come around and hypothermia is one of them. 

Marc Harris, Chairmen of Emergency Medicine at Robert Packer hospital says there are many warning signs to look for. "Well as the body temperature drops, the initial phases are shivering and shaking uncontrollably." But there is more to look for than just shivering, "It gets more concerning when the body stops shivering because that's when the body temperature drops fairly low, where it starts to shut down circulation, circulation to your digits and to your extremities and tries to keep the heat to your core to keep it warm."

There are a lot of factors that need to combine for hypothermia to set in as well. Just because it's cold doesn't mean you will end up getting hypothermia. The air temperature is one factor, how well you're clothes, you need layers, also if any of your clothing is wet you need to remove them immediately, especially before the clothes freeze to your skin. 

But what about those who work outside no matter the weather? R.J. Baker, City Carrier for the United States Post Office in Sayre, PA says to just dress in layers and be sure to keep moving when the temperatures get as low as they're forecasted to go. "Just layer yourself, I'm former military so I use a lot of the cold weather gear, but mostly just layers, you want to make sure you wear a lot of layers for the cold weather out here, you want to make sure you're bundled up."

Baker also says that safety is the Post Offices number one priority. Be sure if you do need to spend any time outside in the coming days that you wear layers and be sure to limit your time outdoors. Also, if you find yourself in an emergency this coming weekend Guthrie Robert Packer Hospital in Sayre will offer valet parking at the Emergency Department entrance between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday to minimize exposure to the weather conditions for patients and visitors


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