Botsford Hospital's emergency room has begun seeing patients with cold-related complaints, and physicians expect to see more as Farmington and Farmington Hills sink into a deep freeze this week.
"We've seen frostbite, hypothermia, and breathing difficulty secondary to cold exposure," said Matthew Warpinski, D.O., a physician with the hospital's emergency and trauma center.
Warpinski said when temperatures and wind chills plummet, "it takes a very short amount of time to get frostbite", and people with conditions like asthma and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) can have "significant problems breathing" when the air is this cold. Elderly and very young people are especially at risk, he said.
"Moral of the story is to stay inside. If you must go out, cover as much as possible and dress warm," Warpinski said. "Only a few minutes of exposure can cause problems."