Fans suffering frostbite after freezing Kansas City Chiefs game may require amputations

Dr. Megan Garcia, Medical Director of the Grossman Burn Center at Research Medical in Kansas City, Missouri, recently stated that 70% of patients who have been referred to her center for frostbite now need amputations. Many of these patients attended the Kansas City Chiefs playoff game against the Miami Dolphins at Arrowhead Stadium on January 13, 2024. The Athletic explains:

That contest began with a temperature of minus-4 at kickoff and a windchill that dipped to minus-27, making it one of the four coldest games in NFL history.

Frostbite occurs when skin freezes, thus limiting blood flow to the tissues in that area. While mild frostbite, often referred to as frostnip, does not cause permanent damage, severe frostbite can lead to permanent damage and almost always requires amputation. 

Fox 4 Kansas City reports:

"The patients who had their frostbite injuries along with the Chiefs game, they are just getting to the point now we are starting to discuss their amputations that might be necessary," Garcia said.

The estimated 30% lucky enough to avoid amputation after undergoing treatment the past few weeks in hyperbaric oxygen tanks will have plenty of reminders of their frostbite injuries.

"It's still a lifelong process. They'll have sensitivity and pain for the rest of their lives and always will be more susceptible to frostbite in the future. So we are also educating them to make sure they stay warm for the years and months to come," Garcia said.

I'm from Louisiana and now live in Arizona, and I honestly cannot even begin to imagine what it would feel like to sit through a football game outside in -4 weather. Getting frostbite sounds miserable, and facing amputation is just terrifying. I truly wish all of those folks well.

Previously: Man donates frostbitten digits to Canadian bar to use as a cocktail garnish