Frostbite & Cold InjuriesEdit
General Information on FrostbiteEdit
- Frostbite can occur when the temperature is below 20 degrees Fahrenheit / -6 Celsius, causing body tissue to begin freezing. The moisture in the tissue freezes and crystallizes.
- Frostbite usually affects outer limbs and body parts such as the face, nose, ears, fingers, and toes first.
- Signs of frostbite include skin that starts out pink and changes to blotchy or waxy white or to a grayish-yellow tone. This may happen over time, as frostbite develops.
- Pain and cold may be felt initially, but the area will quickly become numb and have no feeling.
- Important: Never warm the frostbitten area and then later allow it to refreeze. Active warming then refreezing is worse than doing nothing. If continued warming is not possible, take the casualty to the closest hospital before beginning warming.
- Move the casualty to a warm environment if possible.
- Remove any wet clothing and wrap the casualty in warm blankets, coats, or any dry clothing. Pay special attention to the hands, feet and face area.
- If comfortable and safe to do so, elevate the affected area.
- Immerse the affect area in warm water or use a water bottle with warm water on the frostbitten area. Do not immerse in HOT water.
- Do not use dry heat, such as heating pads, camp fires, or hairdryers for warming.
- Do not rub or massage the frostbitten area. This may cause further damage to the injured tissue.
- Take the casualty to the nearest hospital as quickly as possible.
- If getting medical assistance is postponed but continuous warming is not possible, gently wrap the frostbitten areas with blankets or clothing to avoid further frostbite. Get the casualty to the nearest hospital as quickly as possible.
Continuous warming procedure:Edit
- Gently immerse the frostbitten part in clean, warm water (104-108 degrees Fahrenheit / 40-42 degrees Celsius) for 15 to 20 minutes. The temperature should be measured by the thermometer if possible and frequently rechecked.
- Continue to add warm water to keep the temperature within the range above.
- Do not allow the frostbitten area to freeze again.
- Get the casualty to the nearest hospital as quickly as possible.