Oakwood Reports Dangerous Health Impacts of Arctic Cold

A roundup of what Oakwood physicians and nurses have seen lately in area hospitals.

Patch file photo.
Patch file photo.

All four Oakwood Hospitals in Dearborn, Taylor, Trenton and Wayne, plus Oakwood’s emergency room in Canton, recently reported a variety of dangerous health impacts from the arctic cold blanketing southeast Michigan communities. 

The following is a roundup of what Oakwood physicians and nurses have seen lately in area hospitals:


Emergency professionals are treating numerous near-frostbite cases as well as some frostbite cases, the hospital reported. 

They are also seeing a very high level of patients with flu and flu-like symptoms; several of which have been admitted. 

Additionally, trauma teams at Oakwood hospitals are seeing patients coming in for auto accident injuries after spinning out on black ice and snow.

Cardiac Care:

In these frigid conditions, blood flow becomes even more critical as temperatures cause blood vessels to constrict, the hospital reported.

Oakwood Healthcare physicians are continuing to see patients who experienced chest pain symptoms (including heart attack) while shoveling snow, pushing cars out of snow banks and over-exerting themselves while outdoors. People with prior heart conditions are particularly vulnerable.

Critical Care:

Oakwood’s critical care units are nearly full, the hospital reported. 

Critical care professionals are treating numerous patients with compromised respiratory systems from cold and flu.  Asthmatics who get the cold or flu are having a particularly difficult time breathing in the extremely cold weather. 

Trauma victims related to motor vehicle accidents are also receiving care.

Oakwood physicians remind individuals to:

  • Stay indoors if possible
  • If you must venture outdoors, warm up your body first with simple stretches and light exercises
  • Dress in layers - taking extra care to protect the extremities – head, nose, fingers, toes
  • Use proper lifting techniques when shoveling to avoid putting strain on your back
  • Take frequent breaks from shoveling to rest
  • Stay hydrated with water and avoid alcohol which gives only a short-term sensation of warmth and can actually draw blood flow away from where it is needed most

Click here for more winter-weather safety tips from Oakwood Hospital.
Joseph Borrajo January 08, 2014 at 07:02 AM
Look after your neighbors, particularly the elderly. P3


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