Steven Doerr, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Doerr received his undergraduate degree in Spanish from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He graduated with his Medical Degree from the University Of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver, Colorado in 1998 and completed his residency training in Emergency Medicine from Denver Health Medical Center in Denver, Colorado in 2002, where he also served as Chief Resident.
Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.
Who is most likely to get a cold
weather-related injury and what can be done to prevent it?
Anybody can develop a cold weather-related injury.
The young and the elderly
are more prone to these types of injuries due to vascular compromise or
inability to effectively redistribute body heat. In addition, individuals who
work outdoors, the homeless, and those who engage in outdoor activities are more
likely to develop cold weather-related injuries due to their increased chance
and time of of exposure to the cold conditions.
Alcohol and illicit drug use
also make it more likely that individuals will develop a cold weather-related
injury because these individuals have impaired judgment and they may not sense
that they are in danger.
Patients with certain medical conditions including
psychiatric illness, circulatory problems,
and smoking can develop a cold weather-related injury more quickly than other
The prevention of cold weather-related injuries is best achieved through
careful pre-planning and preparation for the cold, when possible.
Travel with another person in case an emergency occurs. Take along an
emergency kit and blankets in your car in case of a breakdown or accident.
Dress warmly using multiple layers and adequately cover body areas prone to
Try to have an extra change of dry clothing so you can remove any wet
clothing if necessary.
Always keep your hands and feet dry and avoid wearing tight fitting
clothing on these areas as it may decrease the circulation. Use waterproof
Drink plenty of water and avoid alcohol, caffeinated drinks, and smoking.
Carry high-calorie snacks to provide adequate nutrition.
Most importantly, however, move indoors to a warmer environment when you
begin to feel cold.