First Aid For Frostbite

The human body - especially the extremities like the fingers, toes and nose – gets easily affected by cold temperatures. Extreme cold may lead to stopping of blood circulation which in turn can result in frostbite. First aid for frostbite basically prevents further damage to skin and tissues.

First Aid For Frostbite

First Aid For Superficial Frostbite

When frostbite results in only small patches of skin getting affected, it is called a superficial frostbite. Generally areas exposed to the cold may turn pale and the victim may feel numbness and experience pain.

  • A warm part of the body needs to be placed close to the affected area.
  • It should not be rubbed as it could worsen the damage.
  • A painkiller could be taken if the victim is in pain.
  • Further exposure to cold should be avoided.

Though superficial frostbite by itself is not harmful, it could lead to deep frostbite if not treated immediately.

First Aid For Deep Frostbite

A person is said to be suffering from deep frostbite when the affected area runs much deeper than just the surface tissues. If not attended to immediately, this could result even in loss of a body part.

  • Prevent Further Exposure

The skin should be prevented from further exposure to the cold. For instance, the face can be covered and hands can be tucked into the armpits.

  • Gradual Warming

The affected part should not be exposed to direct heat. If hands or feet are frostbitten, they can be immersed in warm water. Heat from fire should not be used for warming as this could lead to burns.

  • Prevent Freezing After Thawing

Care should be taken that skin which has been warmed does not get frozen again. If another exposure to cold is inevitable, thawing should be avoided.

  • Medical Attention

Circulation may soon return after providing first aid for frostbite. But if pain persists, immediate medical help should be sought for, to avoid disastrous consequences like amputation.

While one should be aware of how to provide first aid for frostbite, it is also important to know what can be done to prevent frost bite in the first place.

  • It is essential to cover as many body parts as possible, including the face, when one is being exposed to cold.
  • Body extremities like toes and fingers should be exercised constantly for circulation.

By providing prompt first aid for frostbite, one can prevent the problem from turning serious.

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