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Published December 11, 2013, 05:51 PM

Drinking and Sub-Zero Temperatures can lead to a deadly result

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - A stark reminder tonight of why alcohol and sub-zero temperatures don't mix.

By: WDAY Staff Reports , WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - A stark reminder tonight of why alcohol and sub-zero temperatures don't mix.

A 19-year old student who'd been out drinking is in critical condition after being found unconscious and suffering from hypothermia outside a Duluth home.

While you may think alcohol warms you up from the inside out, it actually has the opposite effect.

I'm told by an ER Physician booze minimizes the sensation of being cold... It's deceiving and incredibly dangerous - even if you're cold, your body won't shiver.

In the case of UMD Student Alyssa Jo Lommel, first responders say she was "stiff as a board" when they found her Saturday morning.

Her hands were swollen to three times the size of a normal hand and "extremely white in color" with the skin splitting in some areas.

Now Doctors say they're not only worried about infection, but possible amputation.

A local physician explains how alcohol affects blood flow.

John Baugh/Essentia Health ER: “Normally when you're cold your blood vessels squeeze down, they contract to force all the blood inside, but whereas when you drink alcohol it causes the blood to distribute outwards, so it actually gets colder. “

With finals week just around the corner many students tend to let loose and enjoy a few cocktails, but Baugh warns if you're going to do that be sure to bundle up and plan for a safe sober ride home.

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