Warning: Frostbite can happen within minutes

Posted at 5:23 PM, Jan 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-18 18:30:07-05

Emergency rooms say they are seeing lots of injuries related to slips and falls on ice, but the dangerously cold wind chill is also claiming a lot of patients.

In these very cold temperatures it only takes a matter of minutes for someone get frostbite.

“My hands are numb right now and we just left the hospital,” said Will Jones as he left Wheaton Franciscan – St. Joseph and waited for the bus.

Those ten minutes can be brutal with biting wind chills.

“I got on two pairs of pants on under here and I'm still cold I got on the sweater or a hoodie and I'm still cold,” Jones added.

Inside St. Joseph's emergency room, Doctor Julie Doniere said she has been seeing a good amount of people with frostbite.

“When it's this cold out make sure that your appendages are covered. The most at risk are parts of your body that are furthest away from your heart,” Doniere said.

You want to make sure your fingers, toes and your even your nose is protected. Frostbite first feels like a stinging sensation and then you feel numbness. Days when the wind chill is this low and you're exposed to the cold for a long period, things can even turn deadly.

"The bigger problem actually comes in when your body starts to shut down you can go into organ failure with cold. It can also cause heart arrhythmias and make your heart stop,” Doniere said.

Doniere also suggests checking on your neighbors, especially the elderly to make sure their doing OK during these cold days.