Cold temps could be fatal - 19 Action News|Cleveland, OH|News, Weather, Sports

Cold temps could be fatal

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With temperatures dropping well below zero on Thursday night, the Vanderburgh County Coroner's Office is warning residents of the danger of being outdoors too long.

Coroner Annie Groves said it only takes 15 minutes for frostbite to set in on exposed skin in sub-zero temperatures. She said the longer you are outside, the greater your risk of hypothermia.

Groves said they have been lucky this season so far and have not seen any cold-related deaths.

She said risk factors for frostbite and hypothermia include lower body weight, your level of movement (more movement means you have sweated more, and the dampness accelerates hypothermia), and exposed skin.

Groves said people who are drunk and find themselves stumbling home from the bar are a greater risk.

"The majority of them is from someone drinking," said Groves. "When your body temperature starts to lower, your rational thinking starts to lower. When you do the combination, it can be fatal."

There will likely be many people headed to the bars on Thursday night, better known by the college crowd as 'Thirsty-Thursday night.

You should always find a safe way home from the bars, but when you are faced with cold temperatures it is especially important.

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