Doctor says frostbite can happen in 15 minutes - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Doctor says frostbite can happen in 15 minutes

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(01/07/14) - Finding shelter is so important right now; just 15 minutes in this extreme cold can cause frostbite.

"It's brutal, it's brutal for anybody," said Gary Sullivan, who lives just east of Flushing.

Sullivan's nose and cheeks still sting in the cold 22 years after his frostbite scare.

"I was in Alaska, we used to deliver diesel fuel to tanks," he said.

Sullivan was serving with the U.S. Army and he said temperatures were hovering around 50 below.

He said his face started tingling and burning.

"When you first start to thaw out, it tingles and you get that circulation and to me it was like knives," Sullivan said.

We sat down with Dr. Stephen Morris and he said one of the first signs of frostbite is tingling and redness.

"The guideline is water at body temperature or slightly warmer, get yourself warm as fast as you can," he said.

Dr. Morris said it's crucial to keep your body warm if you must be outside.

Fingers, toes, ears and noses are most at risk. Something Sullivan learned the hard way.

"I wouldn't recommend anyone to be out in this mess unless you really have to," he said.

Dr. Morris said for a long time people would tell you to rub snow on frostbite. He says you should never do that; it can cause a lot of damage.

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