Dangerous Effects of Polar Vortex

Frigid temperatures can be dangerous, even deadly.
3:00 | 01/07/14

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Transcript for Dangerous Effects of Polar Vortex
Thank goodness for that. This cold is not just causing travel headaches but can kill. Alex perez has more on what you can do to stay safe. Reporter: It is a staggering 14 degrees below 0 here in milwaukee and for many people, this cold has now become a matt of life or death. This morning, the icebox temperatures are proving to be simply too much. In the chicago area, authorities investigated the deaths of four people, all died after shoveling snow in the bitter freeze. 37 people in ohio rushed to the er because of cold-related problems. Dr. Jeffrey smith says his emergency room in milwaukee has been nonstop. With this kind of cold if you're outside for a few minutes what can happen? Really as little as five minutes there can be damage to the skin. That's when it starts with frostbite. Reporter: All the red is heat leaving your body. If you're not bundled up it begins to escape immediately. And look at how quickly frostbite becomes a reality. Your fingers, red when you take off your glove. Just one minute later, blue. The heat all gone. For some, there is no way to escape the cold. When it's this cold how important is the job you guys are doing? It's very important. Reporter: We got to ride along with these milwaukee police officers patrolling the streets helping get those stranded outside to someplace warm. And giving out gloves, socks and hats to those who need it most. And, you know, we mentioned those four people who died while shoveling. Doctors say really have to be careful. It's like lifting heavy weight. Always try to push the snow when possible instead of lifting it. If you do have to pick it up like this make sure you use your leg, not your back but most importantly they say pay attention to your body. If something doesn't feel right, stop what you're doing and get help if you need it. Robin. Great advice there, alex. Thank you very much.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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