NFL Tragedy: Many Dolphins vs Chiefs playoff fans who suffered frostbite are being urged to get amputations

Amidst a tumultuous regular season, the Kansas Chiefs found their stride in the playoffs, ending the season as a back-to-back Super Bowl winner. For Patrick Mahomes, it was the realization of his “business trip” dream. However, the euphoria of success was marred by tragedy during the Chiefs’ Super Bowl parade.

The trouble for many Kansas City Chiefs fans apparently started during the playoff game against the Miami Dolphins. This marked the beginning of a rough stretch for the team’s supporters.

Extreme cold during Dolphins-Chiefs playoff game leads to a tragic ending

The Kansas City Chiefs’ record-breaking cold playoff game in January came with a serious price for some dedicated fans. Many endured the brutal temperatures, but unfortunately, some suffered from frostbite so severe that they may now need amputations.

Frostbite is a condition where skin and underlying tissues freeze due to exposure to extreme cold and poses significant risks, particularly in harsh weather conditions.

According to reports from the Grossman Burn Center at Research Medical Center in Kansas City, Missouri, 70 percent of frostbite patients treated since January are being advised to undergo the life-altering procedure. The severity of the injuries has left doctors with no choice but to consider drastic measures to preserve the patient’s health and well-being.

For the remaining 30 percent of patients, ongoing treatment in hyperbaric oxygen tanks offers a glimmer of hope amidst the grim reality of their condition. 

Dr. Megan Garcia, director of the burn center, expressed concern over the deteriorating condition of patients who sustained frostbite injuries during the Chiefs game. She revealed that discussions regarding the necessary amputations are now underway.

“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 told FOX 4. 

The frigid temperatures at the game turned dangerous. Many fans weren’t dressed warmly enough. First responders from the Kansas City Fire Department had to take action, transporting 15 people to the hospital.

Seven of those people were suffering from hypothermia, a condition where the body gets too cold. The other three faced the serious issue of frostbite, which can cause damage to skin and tissues.

Why didn’t the NFL postpone the Dolphins vs Chiefs game?

The Chiefs faced off against the Miami Dolphins during the 2023 NFL Playoffs on January 13, braving a temperature of -4 degrees Fahrenheit with wind chills plummeting to a staggering -20 at kickoff. Despite the perilously cold conditions, the NFL opted against postponing the game, citing a lack of public safety travel concerns for fans, clubs, stadium personnel, and public authorities.

Marcel Louis-Jacques of ESPN shed light on the NFL’s rationale, stating that the decision hinged on the absence of significant safety issues related to travel and attendance at Arrowhead Stadium.

This frigid showdown marked the fourth coldest game in league history and set a new record for the lowest temperatures recorded at Arrowhead Stadium since its inauguration in 1972. With 70,000 fans packing the stands to witness the Chiefs’ Super Bowl quest, the game’s wind chill of minus-27 secured its place as the third-coldest kickoff wind chill in NFL history.

The extreme cold took its toll on the players and coaching staff. Patrick Mahomes’ helmet shattered while the Chiefs’ head coach Andy Reid, experienced a deep freeze, with his mustache freezing during the intense game.

The January 13th game might have been a nail-biter in the cold, but it didn’t quite reach the legendary chills of the 1967 “Ice Bowl.” That clash between the Green Bay Packers and the Dallas Cowboys remains the NFL’s frozen frontier, played at a bone-numbing -13 degrees Fahrenheit. The “Ice Bowl” serves as a testament to the grit of football players who battle it out even in the most extreme conditions.

While the NFL’s game operations manual mandates snow and ice removal plans for stadiums in freezing conditions, it leaves a crucial question unanswered: when does the cold become too dangerous for players and fans? This lack of clear guidelines can put player safety at risk and create logistical nightmares for teams and fans alike.

Shabiha Akter

1218 articles

Shabiha, once a casual observer, has morphed into a die-hard NFL fan. She carefully dissects every play, trade, and strategy. Whether it's breaking down game highlights or predicting playoff outcomes, Shabiha is your go-to source for all things NFL.


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