Emergency rooms busy from weather-related injuries and illnesses - KMSP-TV

Emergency rooms busy from weather-related injuries and illnesses

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Emergency rooms across the area are filled to capacity. The cold weather mixed with snow and ice have caused a number of illnesses and injuries. Shoveling snow can also be very dangerous, especially for people with heart conditions. Michigan authorities blame the heavy snow and deep freeze for at least seven deaths. Doctors at Providence Hospital in Southfield say people outside for just five minutes are seeing signs of frostbite.

"You might go outside and end up being out there too long and before you know it, you might not even realize it, and then you're out there too long. And once you come in, you realize that it's too late," says Dr. Essa Hishamessa, a St. John Providence ER physician.

VIDEO: Click on the video player above to hear more from Dr. Hishamessa in a report from Fox 2's Erika Erickson

Several local hospitals say the number of emergencies due to frigid weather continues to increase, such as emergencies from car accidents, slips and falls, hypothermia or frostbite. Another trend doctors are seeing is overexertion and chest pains from heavy lifting after shoveling. Doctors are also seeing more patients with flu-like symptoms and respiratory problems after breathing in the cold air.

Doctors warn everyone to only go outside when getting in and out of your vehicle.

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