Frostbite - "Ice Burn"
Frostbite is an injury to body tissue caused by exposure to extreme cold, typically affecting the nose, fingers or toes and often resulting in gangrene.
FROSTBITE - PREDISPOSING FACTORS
- Circulatory disorders
- Constricting clothing
1ST DEGREE FROSTBITE - "FROSTNIP"
- Epidermis involved
- Redness and pain
- Full recovery, no scarring
2ND DEGREE FROSTBITE - "SUPERFICIAL FROSTBITE"
- Deeper - dermis involved
- Longer but full recovery with no scarring
3RD DEGREE FROSTBITE - "DEEP FROSTBITE"
- Damage to all layers
- Destroys underlying tissues: muscles, bones, blood vessels
- Prolonged healing
- Loss of extremities
- Rewarming of skin using a warm water bath for 15-20 minutes
- Pain relief medication
- Protecting the injury - wrap the area with sterile sheets, towels or dressings
- Removal (debridement) of damaged tissue
- Clot busting drugs - thrombolytics - such as Tissue Plasminogen Activator TPA which lowers the risk of amputation
- Surgery to remove dead or decaying tissue
- Hyperbaric oxygen therapy - breathing pure oxygen in a pressurised room