- This article is about a medical condition. For the movie, see Frostbite (film).
Frostbite (congelatio in medical terminology) is the medical conditionwhere damage is caused to skinand other tissuesdue to extreme cold. It is related, but not identical, to hypothermia. The early stages of frostbite are sometimes called "frostnip".
Risk factors include using beta-blockersand having conditions such as diabetesand peripheral neuropathy.
Generally, frostbite is accompanied with discoloration of the skin, along with burning and/or tingling sensations, partial or complete numbness, and possibly intense pain. If the nervesand blood vesselshave been severely damaged, gangrenemay follow, and amputationmay eventually be required. If left untreated, frostbitten skin gradually darkens after a few hours. Skindestroyed by frostbite is completely black and looks loose and flayed, as if burnt.
Move the victim to a warm, safe area. If medical attention is easily reachable, wrap the affected areas with dressings and/or cloths. Also, if it is unlikely that the affected areas can be kept thawed, treatment should not be carried out due to the fact that thawing followed by a second round of freezing can cause more extensive and severe damage to the frostbitten areas. Otherwise, one should place the affected areas in warm (not hot) water, until the areas are soft and sensation has returned. Afterwards, wrap the areas in clean, sterile dressings and attempt to reach medical help (if necessary). If hypothermia has occurred, treat the hypothermia first.
- Mayo Clinic
- CRISP Thesaurus
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frostbite Wikipedia article Frostbite.