Frostbite cases mount as dangerous cold continues

Published 9:40 am Tuesday, January 7, 2014

ST. PAUL — Schools canceled classes for a second day as dangerous Arctic air kept an icy grip on Minnesota where at least one hospital saw a record number of frostbite cases.

At Regions Hospital in St. Paul, 14 people were treated for frostbite and eight patients suffered from hypothermia in the last two days. Hospital officials say all eight intensive care beds in the burn unit were filled with people suffering from frostbite.

Dr. George Edmonson said that in past years the hospital has handled a handful of severe frostbite cases, but this year there’s already been a dozen. Edmonson says that’s a record-breaking number.

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Temperatures dipped to 26 below zero in Ely and in International Falls in northern Minnesota early Tuesday. Forecasters expect some relief Wednesday when the mercury could climb above zero to the south.