Jau diennakti Augšlīgatnē neizdodas apturēt šķeldas gruzdēšanu



Ārsti izglābj līdz 26 grādiem atdzisušu zemledus makšķernieku

Frostbite takes over Latvian burns clinic

The State Burns Center, where people with frostbite also end up, has no free beds after the past few extremely cold days, Latvian Television reported on January 8.

A 70-year-old ice fisher spent an hour in the water. Rescuers found it difficult to access the lake where he fell in. That was before the big frost. When the man was brought into the hospital, his body had cooled to 26 degrees. He was unconscious so medics decided to warm him with an invasive heating machine, said Aleksejs Višņakovs, head of the emergency medical clinic at Rīga Eastern Hospital.

The machine catheter acts as a small radiator directly into the blood vessel. The man was quickly warmed up and, incredibly, discharged the very next day.

Usually, such patients are warmed externally because a hypothermic person should not be heated rapidly.

“There was another patient a few days ago, who had been affected by the cold at home and lying there for a long time before he was found. Thanks to this technology, he managed to warm him up quickly too,” Višņakovs said.

Cold-stricken patients are brought into the emergency medicine clinic daily. The record was six in one day. Four more patients have been admitted to the State Burns Center over the weekend, now 15 are being treated here.

“Our department is one hundred percent full, there are also still burns,” said Sergejs Smirnovs, head of the Center.

Some will unfortunately have to have fingers amputated.

“Of those who are now admitted, there are no homeless people at all. Everyone is working, studying. [..] One didn't wear gloves at minus 20,  another had low sugar, lost consciousness, and fell into the snow. There's face frostbite, the hands have also suffered badly,“ Smirnovs said.

Doctors ask for special attention to be paid to those relatives and friends who live alone.

Jevgēņija from the Ozolmuiža parish in Latgale is 93 years old. Her room has a temperature of +10 degrees. Outside it is -32.

“I'm not saying anything for now. Maybe, when it's -40 C, I might need to heat twice,“ she said. “It's cold. In that room, the interior windows are a little frosty because I heat less. I'm not heating in the evening. It's not seven yet, I'm already going to bed. I crawl in under an old blanket. I'm sitting here covering my legs during the day,“ she said.

The lady has no children; there are relatives in Rīga who visit her only on festive occasions. Jevgēņija said she only remembered such cold from when she was young.

She said she had had enough money this year, but she doesn't want to heat the house twice a day - it's physically difficult for her, and the firewood have to be saved, too. Better to dress up warmer, she believes.

Jevgēņija is visited three times a week by carers from social service to help, and, like a true Latgalian, she doesn't complain. But other Latgale residents admitted that frost is a big challenge these days.

Doctors recommend reducing outdoor activities and dressing in multiple layers , as well as not forgetting about a hat, gloves, and appropriate footwear.

Doctors are also asking that during this cold weather, special attention be paid to those relatives and friends who live alone and make sure they are OK at least once a day. Because you can also freeze in an apartment on the floor.


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