Report: Several fans who suffered frostbite at Dolphins-Chiefs game now facing amputations

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Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Some fans that attended the Miami Dolphins’ playoff game against the Kansas City Chiefs are facing amputations after they suffered frostbite because of the frigid temperatures at the game.

“The medical director at the Grossman Burn Center at Research Medical Center says 70% of patients referred for frostbite injuries suffered during the bitter cold in January are now being advised to schedule amputations,” Fox 4’s Dave D’Marko wrote.

“Majority of them are Chiefs fans who attended the team’s frigid playoff game.”

Dr. Megan Garcia, the medical director at the Grossman Burn Center, revealed back in January that she had seen “dozens” of frostbite patients.

“Garcia told FOX4 in January she’d already seen dozens of frostbite patients,” D’Marko wrote. “Many of those were Chiefs fans who attended the playoff game against the Miami Dolphins where it was -4 degrees with a wind chill of -27 degrees at kickoff.”

Despite the extremely cold weather, the NFL still allowed the Chiefs and Dolphins to play their playoff game. The Dolphins came up short in the matchup, losing to the eventual Super Bowl champions 26-7.

“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.

It was reported after the game that players on both sides suffered frostbite during the matchup.

It’s possible that the number of people that suffered medical injuries due to the game being played in such frigid weather will lead to the NFL rethinking playing a game in such an environment in future seasons.

Fans still showed out in a big way for the playoff matchup, as over 70,000 fans were in attendance in Kansas City at Arrowhead Stadium.

The Chiefs took extra precautions for the game, but the Kansas City Fire Department received 69 calls for service at Arrowhead Stadium before, during and after the game. About half of those calls were related to hypothermia.

It’s certainly concerning that fans and players were subject to frostbite during the game, and the game being played in such weather takes a little bit away from the joy of fan experience.

The Dolphins, who are not used to playing in that weather in Miami, struggled on offense, scoring just seven points.

Since the NFL postseason comes in the middle of winter, it’s hard for the league to avoid cold weather altogether. Still, there may need to be better protocols put in place so fans and players can avoid experiencing an event like this again.

The NFL did postpone a playoff game due to snowy conditions (between the Buffalo Bills and Pittsburgh Steelers), and it’s possible it could use a similar justification to postpone extreme cold-weather games in the future.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.