Woman suffers severe frostbite after standing outside 40 minutes in extreme cold
Warning: This story contains graphic images that may disturb some viewers.
As the bitter cold continues to grip much of the country and another blast of extreme weather is forecast for the weekend for many regions, an Ottawa woman has some words of caution when it comes to the risks of frostbite.
Alina Corsone is still suffering from the effects of severe frostbite on her toes after she waited 40 minutes outside of an Ottawa nightclub on New Year’s Eve when temperatures felt like -40 C with the wind chill.
The young woman told CTV Ottawa that she was out with friends that evening when she forgot her purse in an Uber on the way to the bar. Corsone said she asked the bouncer working at the nightclub if she would be able to wait in the doorway to stay warm while she called the Uber driver to return her belongings.
“I did have a ticket. I wasn’t asking to be let in without being checked. I was asking just to wait at the door,” she explained on Thursday.
The bouncer refused and told her to go to a nearby McDonald’s for shelter, Corsone said.
“I didn’t want to have to wait somewhere else, come back and have the line [for the club] be double the size and have to wait outside even longer,” Corsone said. “I had a lot of fault in this too.”
Instead, the young woman stood outside for 40 minutes waiting for the Uber driver to return. As a result, Corsone, who was wearing open-toed shoes, suffered painful frostbite on her feet.
Two weeks later, Corsone’s toes are still badly blistered and swollen.
“[It’s] really uncomfortable. There’s a lot of pressure on my feet,” she said. “The pain’s getting better. It will get worse at some point when they have to remove all the dead tissue.”
With extreme cold dominating much of the winter so far, Ottawa Public Health’s Martha Robinson wants the public to take precautions for frostbite.
“It can happen to anybody,” Robinson said. “Be aware of the signs and get yourselves out of a dangerous situation.”
The first signs of frostbite can include pink skin, a prickly feeling in the affected area, white patches on the skin and pain. If frostbite has already occurred, Robinson said it’s important to warm up slowly.
With a report from CTV Ottawa’s Katie Griffin