Brittany ComakDec 29, 2017, 6:48 pmJan 2, 2018, 2:20 pm

Local hospitals seeing rise in cold weather-related injuries, illnesses

Doctors say that they are seeing more people with existing heart and lung issues, along with frostbite and related issues

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MANHASSET — With temperatures sinking in the single digits, there are certain illnesses that can be exacerbated by the cold.

"People that have breathing problems such as asthma can be triggered by the cold weather. People with heart disease are also prone to have heart issues in the cold as well," said Dr. Salvatore Pardo, the vice-chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Northwell Health in Manhasset.

Dr. Pardo also says that the most common injuries from cold weather are from exposure and can go from frostbite to an altered mental state if your core temperature drops too low.

"The most important thing," Dr. Pardo says, "is as you transfer in and out of your house to your car or a building, just remain covered."

If you do see the beginnings of frostbite on your extremities, Dr. Pardo says it is important to place them in lukewarm water, rather than hot water or trying to warm them by the fire.

Dr. Pardo also has a warning for New Year's revelers, saying that alcohol, while it may make you feel warm, actually brings your blood to the surface of your skin, leading to the loss of more body heat, making it more difficult to maintain your core temperature.

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