Pandemonium reigned in Mercy Hospital’s Emergency Room where doctors and nurses worked frantically to treat a mob of Miamians suffering from slight chilliness.
“My arms! I can’t feel my arms!” cried a woman in her 40s.
“Can you feel that?” asked a nurse, inserting an IV into her wrist.
“Ow! Well, yes, I felt that,” she exclaimed, regaining some of her composure. “But my fingertips are a little numb!” she wailed.
A family of four huddled under emergency thermal space blanket, shaking vigorously.
“We were caught outside without long sleeves,” explained the mother in ragged, halting breaths. “A light wind kicked up, and I thought we were all goners. Five minutes in that kind of weather and you’re good as dead.”
“The water, the water, the water,” repeated one man as he rocked himself on a gurney. A haggard physicians’ assistant explained that the patient opened a cold water tap and went into shock when cold water emerged from the faucet.
“This happens every winter,” explained Shan Ahmed, DO, Mercy Hospital’s Chief Medical Officer. “Miamians consider anything 80 degrees to be “boot weather.” Anything below 70 is a massacre. That’s how we lose thousands every year in movie theaters and grocery freezer aisles.”
Ahmed turned solemn once asked when this emergency would run its course. “It’s supposed to drop to 58 next week. God help us all.”
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