Cold-Related Injuries #1

FROSTBITE

We have just seen our first case of frostbite for this winter season.  An individual spent most of the night outside, barefoot, at about 20F.  They have a combination of superficial frostbite and immersion foot and may lose their toes– only time will tell.  Thus, we are inspired to produce several blogs that will deal with the recognition and management of Frostbite and the non-freezing cold injuires – Immersion Foot and Raynaud’s Disease. 

But first prevention:

WINTER WISDOM:  The Principles of Prevention of Hypothermia and Frostbite:
Know your personal limits and equipment.
Have proper-fitting clothing and boots.
Beware of tight-fitting boots or crampons.
Wear multiple layers, including socks.
Carry spare mittens and socks.
Control the rate of sweating.
Keep extremities WARM & DRY.
Keep the whole body warm, dry, well-fed, and well-hydrated.
Drink more than you think you need; do not rely on thirst to tell you to drink.
Carry and eat lots of carbohydrates; you burn glucose to stay warm.
React quickly to the very first signs of cold, numbness, or tissue changes.

This blog is powered by the Wilderness Medicine Newsletter, now celebrating 20 years of publication. The WMN is published and distributed online six times each year by TMC Books, and subscriptions cost as little as $10 per year. To find out more, or to subscribe online, click here.

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