UMaine student in hospital for frostbite

Posted Jan. 25, 2011, at 1:14 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 25, 2011, at 8:28 p.m.

ORONO, Maine — A University of Maine undergraduate student who walked across campus in Saturday’s subzero temperatures was taken to St. Joseph Hospital in Bangor the next day suffering from frostbite to his hands, Joe Carr, university spokesman, said Tuesday.

“That student is still in the hospital,” he said. “It’s obviously a serious injury.”

The frostbitten man did not realize how badly he was injured, Carr said. Alcohol and drugs were not involved, he said.

“This happened Saturday night, and he asked a friend to call [for help] on Sunday,” Carr said.

The 19-year-old “student was walking on campus and was not properly prepared for the weather,” Carr said. He “also came into contact with some snow.”

The student’s friend called police at 7:47 a.m. Sunday and he was immediately taken to St. Joseph to be treated for frostbite to his hands, Carr said.

Carr said he did not know the details surrounding how the student came into contact with the snow. The school sent out a mass e-mail Sunday reminding students and staff to ensure they are properly dressed for the frigid temperatures.

“University of Maine police urge all members of the UMaine [community] to take extra precautions during the extreme cold conditions that are expected to persist during the next few days,” the e-mail states. “Wind chill values may be as cold as 40 degrees below zero, according to current forecasts.”

Other recommendations for dealing with frigid weather include: minimize time spent outdoors; wear appropriate clothing when outdoors, including hats, warm footwear and gloves or mittens; allow extra time for pedestrian travel; and consider stopping in buildings along the way to warm up, the e-mail suggests.

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