Dear Friends and Neighbors,

CentraCare and Carris Health care givers have been working around the clock for more than 20 months to care for you, your families and friends during COVID. We are committed to caring for every Minnesotan who needs us, and nothing will prevent us from doing so – even during these never-seen-before times.

The challenge of providing this level of care is that our hospital beds are often full. ERs in all of our hospitals are packed. And our clinical teams are exhausted. Early in the pandemic, our community stepped up in amazing ways to helps us. We ask that you again join us in fighting this pandemic together.

How can you help?

  • Please get your COVID vaccines and booster shots. They are proven safe and effective in reducing COVID illness, keeping people out of the hospital, and preventing death.
  • If your situation is not an emergency, please use other care options, including:
  • If this is a medical emergency, call 9-1-1, or visit the ER.

Together, we can do this. Thank you for your support.

Ken Holmen, MD
President and CEO

Frostbite First Aid Kit

Published in Wellness Tag: David Ross, MD,MBA  

Author: David Ross, MD, MBA

Winter is here. With fresh white snow blanketing the ground and frigid temperatures across the region, beware of frostbite.

Frostbite occurs when you are exposed to freezing temperatures. Its symptoms include:

  • Reduced blood flow to hands and feet
  • Numbness, tingling or stinging
  • Aching
  • Bluish or pale, waxy skin

In some cases, frostbite can happen in just minutes, and often causes loss of feeling and color to frostbit areas like the nose, ears, cheeks, chin, fingers or toes. Someone with frostbite may be unaware they have it because frozen tissues become numb. Frostbite can be serious, and may result in permanently damaged tissues, which in some cases leads to amputation.

If you think you may have frostbite, get medical attention as soon as possible. If medical care isn't available, these tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention can help though they are not a substitute for proper medical evaluation.

  1. Protect your skin from further exposure to extreme temperatures. Protect exposed areas by covering them with winter gear. Warm frostbitten body parts using body heat. For example your armpit could be used to warm frostbitten fingers. But do not rub or massage frostbite as this may cause more damage.
  2. Move to a warm room as quickly as possible.
  3. If you think your toes or feet may have frostbite, don't walk on them unless absolutely necessary, as the pressure may increase the damage to your feet.
  4. Gradually warm up. Warm such that it is comfortable to touch for other parts of the body. Do not use hot water.
  5. Wrap the rest of your body in a warm blanket. Don't use a heating pad, heat lamp, or the heat of a stove, fireplace, or radiator as frostbitten areas are numb and can easily be burned.

If numbness or pain continues during warming or if blisters develop, seek medical care immediately.

Sometimes hypothermia can accompany frostbite. Hypothermia is a serious medical condition and requires emergency medical care.

Don't let the cold catch you unprepared. Take precautions against extreme cold by preparing your home and car in advance for winter emergencies. Don't spend more time outside in extreme weather conditions than necessary. You can reduce your risk of weather-related health problems.