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Dozens treated for hypothermia-related concerns at Chiefs vs Dolphins game

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City first responders handled dozens of hypothermia-related calls Saturday at the Kansas City Chiefs’ Wild Card game.

A Kansas City Fire Department spokesperson said the agency handled 69 calls at Arrowhead Stadium as the Chiefs took on the Miami Dolphins amid subzero temperatures.

KCFD said approximately half of those calls were hypothermia related.

Of the nearly 70 calls KC first responders received at Arrowhead, 15 people were transported to a local hospital. Seven of those transported were for hypothermia, and three were for frostbite.

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These reports don’t include anyone who went to KU Health System’s first aid station at the stadium.

It’s probably no surprise considering Kansas City recorded the coldest game ever played at Arrowhead Stadium.

It was -4 degrees at kickoff Saturday night with a wind chill of around -30 degrees, marking history for the Chiefs and becoming the fourth-coldest NFL game ever.

Head coach Andy Reid sported a frozen mustache, quarterback Patrick Mahomes shattered his helmet and his backup helmet was frozen as he put it on, beers were exploding and freezing and shirtless fans were in the stands.

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But the arctic air that’s been hanging around Kansas City recently can take a toll on our bodies, leading to serious health issues.

Frostbite begins as frostnip, which is the feeling of pins and needles in either your ears, nose, fingers or toes.

If untreated, it can progress into frostbite which, at its worst, can cause your skin to peel and turn black, which means it’s dying. Symptoms of frostbite include numbness, discolored skin and clumsiness.

“If left untreated, you could become septic, and sepsis could lead to death if left untreated,” Joe Folsom with Johnson County MED-ACT told FOX4.

Folsom said those older than 65 and younger than 18 are most susceptible.

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If you notice yourself developing frostbite, immediately go inside and warm up. However, make sure it’s not too hot when you warm up your fingers, toes, ears or nose.

“Warm is okay,” KCFD EMS Division Chief Hopper said. “Hot is not good. The reason for that is your sensation is quite diminished in your hands if you’re having the early stages, so the hot will actually cause you more problems.”

If your frostbite has progressed to peeling skin or discoloration you should immediately go to the emergency room.

Things can take a drastic turn if you develop hypothermia, which is when your body’s core temperature drops below 98 degrees.

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One of the first signs of hypothermia is shivering which can lead to confusion, a slow heart rate, and difficulty breathing. If you stop shivering, that’s when it becomes life-threatening.

“Shivering is how the body stays warm. Without shivering you don’t begin to generate heat anymore and at that point, if someone doesn’t come to help you, it becomes a fatal condition,” Hopper said.

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