Arctic blast creates health risks

Western New Yorkers are battling yet another day of subzero temperatures, mixed with chilling winds.

When the temperature drops it’s important to know what you should be doing to stay as warm as possible. With the cold, you can run the risk of things like frostbite and hypothermia. If you start to shiver, have slow speech or memory lapses, it might be signs of hypothermia. Stumbling and drowsiness can also be related. You want to make sure you stay bundled up when the thermometer drops.

If you do have to go outside Tuesday, make sure you’re dressed for the severe cold. Dress in layers, try to use wool or silk for your underlayers. If you get too warm, take a layer off. Loose fitting clothing also helps. Try to stay dry to avoid frostbite.

Women & Children’s E.R. Physician Dr. Danielle Hirsch said, “It can happen pretty darn quick, especially if your hands or feet get wet.”

Despite the empty waiting room at Erie County Medical Center, Dr. Brian Clemency is expecting an increase of cold weather related cases.
Clemency said, “There’s just not a lot of time before your body starts to lose heat especially if you’re not bundled up appropriately.”

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The ER Attendee says hypothermia and frostbite are chief among concerns.

“We’ve definitely been seeing these over the last couple of days. I think when it gets really, really cold, people are a little smarter about it,” Clemency said.

He says too many people are taking too much a risk, being outside.

“I think if you don’t have to go out, don’t. If you do, you need to know your limits,” said Clemency.

Despite the warning from doctors, the fact is many people will have to head outside Tuesday.  Experts at Casullo Automotive suggest starting your car early for its own health.

Owner Rocco Casullo said, “That’ll help defrost the windshield, your wipers are going to work better, you car’s going to drive better.”

Casullo says his shop has been very busy for the last couple of weeks.

“It’s been a winter we’re not going to forget. We’re seeing cars towed in daily, suspension damage, no starts,” said Casullo.

Many cars are coming in, with an increase in the number of calls to AAA.

Steve Pacer is the regional spokesman, he suggests getting batteries checked and tuned up if you believe your car is on its last leg.

“After this cold snap ends if your car made it, it might be smart to check it out,” said Pacer.

But save that for next week, when temperatures are finally expected to go up, at least a little. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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