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Man With Frostbite Says Winter Is ‘No Time To Look Cute’

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(credit: CBS) Liz Collin
At 15 years old, Liz Collin made her broadcast debut covering...
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By Liz Collin, WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Even before Friday’s cold snap, doctors said it has been one of the worst winters they’ve seen for frostbite.

Frostbite can even happen in temperatures in the 20s and with only 15-20 minutes of exposure.

“The pain is constant,” said James Green, who will be scarred from this winter for the rest of his life. “I knew right away something was wrong.”

On New Year’s Eve, Green said he was mugged and dumped in a snow bank. He wouldn’t wake up for six hours.

“We have a lot of snow and we have cold temperatures and I think the lot of snow is even more important,” said Dr. Anne Lambert, from the Hennepin County Medical Center.

For the last month, Hennepin County Medical Center has been treating a couple of frostbite cases each week.

One man got his car stuck and walked to find help. Doctors said he lost his skin from parts of his hands and knees.

It’s the same danger parents across the state worry about. Dozens of schools started late and parents in Minneapolis and Anoka had the option to keep their kids home because of the cold.

“I didn’t want her to be outside in the elements waiting for the bus,” said one dad.

But frostbite isn’t the only problem that comes with the cold. A frozen pipe broke and left the office in a high-rise under water.

A dip into a deep freeze is being felt by everyone and as Green says, it’s not a time to be taking any chances.

“There’s no time to look cute … there’s time to live and this winter is serious. The cold is harsh and it’s unforgiving,” he said.

Dr. Lambert warns that she sees a lot of people wearing finger-less gloves so they can be on the phone or text. But, she says people need to cover those exposed fingers with an extra pair of mittens in this kind of weather. If you’re seeing white or grey marks on your skin and that area is stiff it’s best to get it checked out.

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