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Cold temperatures, extreme conditions keeping doctors, ER's busy

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - The cold temperatures and extreme weather conditions are also keeping emergency rooms and doctors offices busy.

What theyre seeing most are injuries from slips and falls on the icy ground and people overdoing it shoveling or working outside.

At the Borgess Medical Center emergency room they've been busy with those types of injuries.

"That's what we're seeing a lot of back injuries, wrist injuries, ankle injuries," says Doctor Fatima Hatia.

She says they're also seeing a lot of broken fingers and injuries from winter sports.

Her  advice to help prevent some of those injuries,

"Wear warm gloves so your able to catch yourself if your falling, you don't have your hands in your pockets while youre walking. Use slow shuffling steps, don't try to rush anywhere," says Hatia.

The Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons recommends; wear appropriate footwear, even if your just running to the car, warm up thoroughly and stretch even for just shoveling snow, and take frequent breaks drinking plenty of fluids.

In the Borgess ER they've been seeing a lot of what Dr. Hatia calls frost "nip" which isn't as severe as frost bite but is painful.

And as temperatures hit dangerous lows tonight and tomorrow it's important to watch for the signs of hypothermia.

"You'll first notice that your appendages are the first thing that start to feel really, really cold, after that your heart rate starts to drop down to a low level, you start to shiver. your body tells you hey, it's time to go back inside."