Friday, October 3, 2008

Frostbite Treatment

Frostbite is a freezing of the skin and deeper body tissues. There are varying degrees, but the treatment is similar for all of them. In any case, the real degree of the frostbite usually won't be known until after it is treated and the damage can be determined.
The first sign of frostbite may be a loss of feeling in the affected area. White patches on the skin are the next obvious symptom. Watch for a white tip of the nose. The skin will appear pale and waxy. The fingers may even clack together like pieces of wood in serious cases.
Frostbite Treatment
Quick rewarming of the affected areas is the usual treatment. This can be as simple as putting your frostbitten fingers under your arms in mild cases. In more serious cases, the treatment of choice is hot water. Frostbitten toes can be effectively warmed against the bare stomach of a good friend.
Refreezing of thawed body parts can cause substantial tissue loss. Therefore it is important to not only treat the affected areas, but to have a plan for protecting them from the cold thereafter. For this reason, there are times when it may be best to leave the affected parts frozen.
One such instance is when a foot is seriously frozen, but is needed to walk to safety. Thawing it out before you can easily keep it thawed not only might result in more damage, but a thawed foot may be impossible to walk on due to the pain. More than one person has had to leave a foot frozen in order hike out to safety - even when this has meant the loss of the foot.

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