A surge in frostbite cases, but not as bad as you might expect

Minnesotans are starting to see how dangerous this cold weather can be with the injuries and illnesses that come with extreme cold.

For the most part, the people who choose to go out in weather like Wednesday's know how to dress and know when it’s time to go warm up. Everyone else stays inside.

At Hennepin Healthcare's Burn Unit, they believe that’s why the current spike in frostbite cases isn’t worse than it is.

“So, right now, even though we’re seeing a lot, this isn’t any more than we’d normally see this time of year,” said Dr. Jon Gayken. “Despite have record temperatures.”

Since Friday, Hennepin Healthcare has treated 22 cases and admitted 13 patients. One of those cases saw a patient get frostbite in their car.

“You know, it was a drive to work and so it doesn’t necessarily have to be outside,” Gayken said.

Gayken says Hennepin Healthcare tends to see as many, if not more, cases of frostbite when it’s warmer, like 5 degrees below zero.

It’s then when people think they can still tough it out because schools and businesses don’t close and emergency shelters aren’t open.

“All of those types of things are keeping people or reducing their exposure,” he said.

You don’t have to stay inside, Gayken says, but you better know what you’re doing.