Emergency room prepares for winter weather

Local Emergency Rooms are preparing for the affect of frostbite, but it's not the only thing they will encounter as temperatures bottom out.

Posted: Jan. 30, 2019 6:22 PM
Updated: Jan. 30, 2019 6:34 PM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind (WLFI) — The winter weather is throwing punches, leaving behind a sick outcome and a cure only found in an emergency room.

''You see a lot more people come in with viral illnesses than you do have people who come in with kind of wind burn," said IU Health Emergency Room Doctor Sam Harmon. "Things like that are far more common." 

Emergency room workers are preparing for what these bone chilling temperatures can bring.


''The weather makes it challenging," said Franciscan Health Emergency Room Doctor Nicholas Costanza. "You've a lot of folks who may be exposed to the cold weather on a normal basis are going to be coming in because of the decreased temperature. You get a lot more viral URIs. You get people with bronchitis."

Bronchitis doesn't just affect adults. Little ones are at risk too. Harmon said the most prominent form of sickness during cold weather tends to be Respiratory Syncytial Virus, which is an upper respiratory infection. Harmon also said that strep throat and influenza have had a common reoccurrence.


Those without shelter also have a higher risk of getting sick and local ERs work to keep them healthy and safe.


''Unfortunately we do see people who are stuck for longer periods of time," said Harmon "We just make sure that they don't have any serious injuries. We do what we can to get them to a shelter somewhere where they can be healthy and if they need something to eat we can usually give them something and make sure that they are healthy and stable so we can get somewhere and get the help they need." 

These temperatures can affect anything and everything., but ERs do what they can to fight back.


Although these brutal temperatures can be harsh, Franciscan Health wanted to make sure its statement was clear.

“When considering the current weather conditions, Franciscan Health Lafayette's Emergency Department is actually reporting below average weather related visits. The Emergency Department believes this is due to the community heeding warnings about staying inside and staying safe.”

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