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Some attendees of frigid Chiefs game forced into amputations following severe frostbite, Kansas City hospital says

The Jan. 13 wildcard victory over the Miami Dolphins might have come at a terrible price for some spectators who endured sub-zero cold.
Fans  watch the game.
Fans during the AFC Wild Card Playoffs between the Miami Dolphins and the Kansas City Chiefs in Kansas City on Jan. 13.Jamie Squire / Getty Images

At least "some" football fans, who attended January's bitterly cold Kansas City Chiefs playoff game, suffered extreme frostbite and eventually needed amputations, a hospital official said Thursday.

The back-to-back champion Chiefs launched their 2023-24 postseason run with a 26-7 victory over the Miami Dolphins on Jan. 13 in a game that might be remembered as much for temperature readings than the final score.

The mercury plummeted to minus 3 with a wind chill of minus 25 at halftime of the contest played at Arrowhead Stadium.

The Grossman Burn Center in Kansas City treated 30 patients who suffered frostbite in January.

"To date, 12 patients have undergone amputation surgeries. Some of which attended the Chiefs game," said Christine Hamele, associate vice president of HCA Midwest Health which operates seven hospitals, including the Research Medical Center and its Grossman Burn Center.

"Our specialized physicians and expert care team continue to treat and monitor patients’ healing to address long-term needs, and we expect more surgical procedures over the next two to four weeks as their injuries evolve."

Hamele cautioned against drawing any direct lines between amputations and that frigid Chiefs game because those frostbitten limbs and digits could have resulted from other exposures.

"Some patients came in post-Chief game, assuming it would heal," Hamele said. "When they arrived in the outpatient, they don’t always reference the Chiefs game. For example, one gentleman was at the Chiefs game, but is also a meter reader."

That Jan. 13 game was one of the most notable of this recently concluded playoff season because of the weather, that it was only available to out-of-market fans via the digital service Peacock and drew the attendance of Taylor Swift, girlfriend of Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce.

While Swift and Kelce's mother appeared comfortable in a luxury suite, conditions outside looked miserable.

Even Chief coach Andy Reid’s mustache was a casualty, turning to icicles in the bitter cold.

Fifteen fans, 10 with cold-related symptoms, were taken to hospitals by the Kansas City Fire Department transported that evening. KCFD Battalion Chief Michael Hopkins said he’s grateful there weren’t more transports given the conditions that frigid night.

“Arrowhead Stadium holds 79,000-plus fans and considering the temperatures that day and the windchill, 10 weather-related transports was an extremely low amount,” he said Thursday.

It was the fourth coldest football game in NFL history with the famed "Ice Bowl" of Dec. 31 1967 still serving at the frozen gridiron standard.

The Green Bay Packers defeated the Dallas Cowboys, 21-17, while enduring the cold of minus 13 at kickoff with a windchill of minus 36 at Lambeau Field.