Frostbitten Kansas City Chiefs fans need amputations
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Frostbitten Kansas City Chiefs fans need amputations

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Fans who attended the Chiefs-Dolphins playoff game on Jan. 13, the fourth-coldest NFL game on record, are being advised to have their affected body parts amputated.

According to reports, 69 people were treated by the fire department at the game. Half of those treated presented with symptoms of hypothermia. At kickoff, the temperature was -4℉ with a -20℉ windchill. By the time the game ended, the temperature had dipped to -9℉ but felt like -28℉.

“The patients who had their frostbite injuries along with the Chiefs game, they are just getting to the point now we are starting to discuss their amputations that might be necessary,” Dr. Megan Garcia said to FOX 4 KC. Garcia is the director of the Grossman Burn Center in Kansas City.

The fingertips of one fan, who took their gloves off for only five minutes to set up a tent in the parking lot for tailgating, turned red before ending up purple. 70 percent of frostbite victims from January are being advised on whether or not they should amputate, and 30 percent who have been advised are starting to seek treatment with hyperbaric oxygen tanks, a device used to speed up the healing process on wounds that won’t heal.

Treatment in the hyperbaric tanks will hopefully allow these fans to keep their extremities, but they will still encounter life-long issues.

“It’s still a lifelong process. They’ll have sensitivity and pain for the rest of their lives and always will be more susceptible to frostbite in the future,” Garcia said. “So we are also educating them to make sure they stay warm for the years and months to come.”

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