Mercy Medical Center–Sioux City has again initiated "Operation Cold Weather Refuge," an effort that seeks to safeguard Siouxland residents who need to escape extremely cold temperatures and wind chills.
During times of bitterly cold weather, those who need to warm up may come to Mercy's cafeteria or south lobby. The cafeteria is located on the third floor and the south lobby is on the first floor near Mercy’s Fifth Street entrance. Mercy will provide hot chocolate to those who come to the hospital to escape the extreme cold. This free service will be available from 7 am to 7 pm on days where the temperature dips below 10 degrees.
In accordance with its Mission to live the values of compassion, respect and concern for those most in need, Mercy Medical Center’s Operation Cold Weather Refuge is intended to provide relief from the cold during the day to anyone without adequate shelter or those who may have an inadequate source of heating in their homes or apartments.
Physicians in Mercy’s Emergency Department and Trauma Center say frostbite usually develops when the air temperature is below 10 degrees Fahrenheit, but it may occur at a temperature nearer the freezing point (32 degrees Fahrenheit) particularly when other conditions, such as high winds, dampness or general chilling of the body, are present.
A serious medical condition that requires immediate medical care, hypothermia occurs when body temperature falls and the body loses heat faster than it can produce it. The condition is life threatening when the body’s core temperature falls below 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
People most at-risk for becoming hypothermic include senior citizens (particularly those who are sick or frail), infants and small children; people who live alone or in isolated areas, and those who are homeless. People who take certain medications that disrupt normal body temperature regulation are also at increased risk, according to physicians at Mercy.
For more information, contact:
Deb Lemmon, Director of Marketing and Planning (712) 279-2294
Dianne Krier, Mercy Marketing and Communications Coordinator