While Spring may be right around the corner, it is still bitter cold in many places... Do you know how to recognize, avoid, and treat Frostbite?
Frostbite is a condition in which skin and the tissue just below the skin freeze
What to look for: With Frostbite, the skin appears waxy, is cold to the touch or discolored (white, gray, yellow, blue, or flushed) and the person with frostbite will often experience a lack of feeling in the affected area.
Mild frostbite cases can be treated with gradual warming. Severe cases require medical care to prevent complications.
How to care for Frostbite / First Aid measures:
Note: Do not attempt to re-warm the frostbitten area if there is a chance that it might freeze again or if you are close enough to a medical facility to get advanced medical care in place of responder treatment.
• Check to assure that the scene is safe for you to come to the injured person's aid and the check the person for any more serious or life threatening emergencies.
• Send someone to CALL 9-1-1 (or the local emergency number).
• Try to remove wet clothing and any jewelry on or near the affected area.
• DO NOT rub the affected area - Handle the frostbitten are gently.
• For minor frostbite, rapidly rewarm the affected part using skin-to-skin contact such as with a warm hand. (warmers may be used cautiously.)
• Warm gently by soaking affected area in warm water (100°F - 105°F / 37°C - 40°C) until normal color returns and the frostbitten part feels warm.
• Loosely bandage area with dry, sterile dressing.
• If fingers or toes are frostbitten, place dry, sterile gauze between the digits to keep them separated.
• Avoid breaking any blisters.