More than 24 weather-related deaths in eight states and hundreds of infections, including frostbite, fractures, heart attacks and carbon monoxide poisoning.
In Illinois alone, hospitals have reported more than 220 cases of frostbite and hypothermia since Tuesday, when the polar explosion moved and temperatures dropped overnight (minus 34 degrees Celsius) or less - with wind chill (minus 45 ° C) or worse in some areas.
Hennepin Healthcare, Minneapolis, typically sees about 30 patients frozen during the winter. Kristen Hill said Friday she had admitted 18 last week.
Most of the patients have underlying problems that make them difficult to manage: retarded development, mentally ill patients, young people and very old people. They were also people with drug and alcohol-related injuries - people who went out or did not realize they were cold or injured.
Many "maximum treatments" require access to the hospital's combustion unit for treatments that include drugs to restore blood circulation to prevent amputations. Some may need amputations, a decision typically made by burned doctors four to ten days after the injury.
Many people decided to stay home even when they were sick to avoid slippery roads and subzero temperatures. In western Michigan, the online health system has seen a significant increase this week.