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Treating Frostbite

image of frostbitten face

How do you treat frostbite?

  • Move the casualty to a warm environment if possible.
  • Remove any wet clothing and wrap the casualty in warm blankets, coats, or any dry clothing. Pay special attention to the hands, feet and face area.
  • If comfortable and safe to do so, elevate the affected area.
  • Immerse the affect area in warm water or use a water bottle with warm water on the frostbitten area. Do not immerse in HOT water.
  • Do not use dry heat, such as heating pads, camp fires, or hairdryers for warming.
  • Do not rub or massage the frostbitten area. This may cause further damage to the injured tissue.
  • Take the casualty to the nearest hospital as quickly as possible.
  • If getting medical assistance is postponed and continuous warming is not possible, gently wrap the frostbitten areas with blankets or clothing to avoid further frostbite. Get the casualty to the nearest hospital as quickly as possible.
  • Continuous warming procedure:
    1. Gently immerse the frostbitten part in clean, warm water (104-108 degrees Fahrenheit / 40-42 degrees Celsius) for 15 to 20 minutes. The temperature should be measured by the thermometer if possible and frequently rechecked.
    2. Continue to add warm water to keep the temperature within the range above.
    3. Do not allow the frostbitten area to freeze again.
    4. Get the casualty to the nearest hospital as quickly as possible.

Be sure to read Frostbite: General Information
Content excerpted from the Urgent First Aid Guide used by permission Copyright 2013
All Rights Reserved. Get a full copy of the First Aid Guide for under $1!

One thought on “Treating Frostbite”

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    Buy Good Stuff August 7, 2018 at 04:49

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