Frostbite and hypothermia: first and medical care

Frostbite ( frostbite ) - damage to tissues and organs due to exposure to low temperatures of 5-10 degrees and below. Recall that burns occur at a temperature of 60 degrees and above.

Today we will talk about the first and medical help with frostbite, what to do with frostbite of fingers, feet, skin, under hypothermia, consider signs and degrees of frostbite.

Frostbite is always accompanied by a general undercooling of the body, but it also happens that the body's hypothermia can occur and without frostbite of tissues and organs due to the effect of temperature not lower than 0 degrees, with loss of consciousness in the open cool air, getting into cold water a person may die.


Reasons for frostbite

The reasons for frostbite can be: high humidity, tight or wet shoes, immobile position of the victim and so on. To promote hypothermia and frostbite, factors such as alcohol intoxication, wind, blood loss, reduced body resistance and exhaustion can contribute.

Signs and symptoms

The most commonly exposed areas of the body are frostbitten with low blood supply: ears, nose, limbs, fingers and toes. The patient first feels a feeling of cold, tingling. Then comes numbness and the sensitivity of the affected area is completely lost.

Under the influence of low temperature during frostbite, inflammation of the tissues develops with subsequent necrosis.

In the initial, latent period of cold exposure there is a feeling of tingling, cold, burning, loss of sensation. Then all the phenomena intensify, the sensitivity is lost finally, the limb becomes "like a stranger."After warming in the development of the disease, several periods are noted( after 5-7 days).

Degree of frostbite

  • 1st degree - signs of inflammation and necrosis;
  • 2nd degree - bubbles are formed, filled with liquid contents;
  • 3rd degree - granulation forms on the bottom of the bubbles( growing new tissue);
  • 4-th degree - there is moist gangrene and necrosis of damaged tissues.

At the first and second degree, the changes occurring in the tissues are reversible, at the third and fourth degree they are irreversible.

First aid for frostbite and hypothermia

When rendering first aid, the injured person should be transferred to a warm room, covered with blankets, and warmed with warm water bottles.

Good effect gives a warm bath with an initial temperature of 20 degrees( the temperature within 20 minutes increases to 40 degrees).

Warming in warm water and massage of frost-bitten areas of the body is performed until sensitivity and signs of viability appear, which can sometimes take several hours. Rubbing is stopped when sensitivity, redness and heat sensation appear in the patch area.

If there is no possibility to warm the patient indoors, heating and massage is carried out near the fire, under the blanket or with the sheepskin .

Before the beginning of massage the skin of the damaged site is treated with alcohol or vodka. Also handles the hands of the person who provides assistance. After warming up the victim warms wrapped, cover with a sheepskin coat, blankets, give hot tea, coffee, wine, vodka.

It is not recommended to rub the frostbitten places with snow or, worse still, to lower the victim into ice water. Do not lubricate frost-bitten areas with grease or oil, as this further complicates the primary surgical treatment of frost-bitten areas.

After first aid, patients with frostbites should be taken to a medical institution.

First aid and treatment of frostbite and hypothermia

Local warming should be combined with the general. The victim should be brought into a warm room, put in bed, covered with blankets and, if necessary, warmed with heaters.

When frostbitten inside, it is useful to take several nicotinic acid powders( from which the face burns) or niacin( a vitamin from group B).These drugs expand the outer vessels, providing additional blood flow to the extremities.

The victim is given a hot drink, tetanus antiserum is administered, and in case of severe lesions - antibiotics of a wide spectrum of action.

Then, within 5-7 days, the degree of frostbite is determined. Treatment frostbite depends on the degree of tissue damage.

Bubbles arising from frostbites should be removed if they are large or contaminated. They are also punctured and pruned at the base. It is best not to remove the blisters within 6-7 days. Usually by this time they are damaged and removed with the next dressing.

When frostbitten face treatment should be carried out in an open manner( without dressings), to achieve the rapid drying of dead tissue and healing them under the scab.

Frostbites 3-4th degree are treated surgically.

It should not be forgotten that with frostbites of the 1-2 degree, aloe and all anti-burn creams and ointments have a good effect.

What should I do if I get cold and frostbite at home

Before using folk remedies, consult a doctor surgeon!

When limb frostbite is used for grinding goose fat .

Lubricate frostbitten areas of with celandine juice three to four times a day. Do not forget that the lubrication should be double. After the first lubrication of the affected area, it is necessary to lubricate the same area 1-2 minutes later, rubbing the juice into the skin. With this method of treatment, the celandine penetrates deeply into the tissue, healing of the affected areas goes much faster.

Cook 1.5 kg celery in 1 liter of water, cool a little and put a frostbitten brush or foot in this broth. Keep it there until the water cools. Then immerse the frost-bitten foot or brush in cold water, wipe it off and grease it with goose fat or lard. This procedure is done every evening for 10 days. Wear warm clothes on the frostbitten part of the body.

Heating compress .Wet a clean white rag in warm water and squeeze lightly. Put it on the frostbitten place, on top - an oilcloth or waxed paper, then a layer of cotton wool and bandage. Bandage should be so that under the bandage or bandage did not pass a finger either from above or from below. Compress to keep 6-8 hours.

If starts to swell joints after fainting, fistulas appear or frostbite limbs become cold, helps the following composition: birch, poplar, bird cherry buds - 1 tablespoon, 1 tablespoon of bleached oil, 1 tablespoon of turpentine, 1 tablespoon of alcohol. Mix everything, insist 21 days. Smear frost-bitten areas 2 times a day, followed by wrapping.

Calendula( marigold) .It is recommended to apply the compress 1-2 times a day for 30 minutes for 10-12 days( a teaspoon of strong infusion or tincture of marigold for 500 ml of water).Calendula is considered a good remedy for frostbite. It not only heals the affected areas, but also prevents the formation of scars.

Sowing oats .Applied as baths with decoction of oat straw( 1 kg of straw cook in 3 liters of water for 20 minutes).

Mock .It is applied externally for compresses and washes several times a day, in the form of a decoction of 100 g of crushed leaves per 1 liter of water. Also useful are warm poultices from the residue after straining the broth.

Oak .Apply for baths, compresses, poultices or use a decoction( 500 g crushed bark cook for 30 minutes in 3 liters of water).The broth is added to the bath water, and also used for compresses.

Walnut .Decoction of leaves and young twigs used for baths, rinses, compresses and lotions.

Nettle .It is used as an ointment from dried and powdered nettle leaves and annual pepper. Mix with Vaseline in a ratio of 1: 2 and lubricate the affected areas of the body twice a day. Mustard .Useful massage mustard spirits( a teaspoon of mustard powder for 200 ml of alcohol or vodka).

With , is used horse chestnut as a tincture of 20 drops three times daily after meals.

Ashberry seeds , infused with alcohol, are a good tool for rubbing the skin of affected areas of the body.

Chamomile Pharmacy has an anti-inflammatory and restoring effect on the affected organs and tissues and is successfully used for frostbites. Used in the form of infusion( 1 tablespoon per glass of boiling water).

A strong warming local action is possessed by such herbal preparations as cayenne pepper and yarrow. They expand well the peripheral vessels, improve blood circulation in the hands and feet, as well as in the fingers and toes.

Yarrow acts only when applied inside.

Cayenne pepper can be used as an external or internal remedy:

  • 1 teaspoon of powdered cayenne pepper herbs mixed with 100 g of olive or vegetable oil and rubbed into affected areas of the skin;
  • 10-15 g of tincture or extract of cayenne pepper pour into warm water and immerse there the affected limb;
  • rub the tincture or extract into the affected areas of the skin.

When frostbite, hold acupressure points, located along the energy path along the outer surface of the forearm, shoulder and neck( "triple heater").

Helps and superimposes on the specified points of a warming compress.

When frostbitten, herbal baths are used from the following plants:

  1. powder from of ginger root;
  2. grass horsetail;
  3. oat straw ( also used are the leaves, stems and grain of oats);
  4. leaves of ginkgo ( popular in the East for treatment of frostbites).
  5. infusions from white beech, poplar buds and white pine bark.

To prepare a bath or a bath, prepare 1-2 liters of herbal tea( approximate calculation 300-500 g for a full bath and 100 g for a limb bath).

You can also use the following tools:

  1. rub fresh lemon juice into the skin ;
  2. with radish juice rub the frostbitten place;
  3. for wiping it is also possible to use the bulb or cut into a piece of , cucumber, soaked in water .

When frostbitten fingers and toes after warming, wipe them with a few drops of tea tree oil( or pink), and then cover the top with with aloe leaf .

To treat blisters formed at the site of frostbite, you can use lotions from juice ( or decoction) calendula, comfrey, plantain .

Comfrey can be grinded into a fine powder, mixed with internal fat or unsalted butter and this paste grease the affected area. Then cover with a cloth.

The first task of the caregiver is to allow a faster cessation of exposure to external low temperature and warming of the victim. Warming of frost-bitten limbs should be performed in baths with a temperature of 25-26 degrees( 20-30 minutes).Then the temperature is raised to 37-40 degrees. Warming frostbitten limbs should be accompanied by a massage of them, which is carried out carefully, but vigorously. Mass until the signs of restoration of blood circulation appear or their necrosis becomes obvious.

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In the taiga in the frost, one must be very careful, if there is no practice, it will easily frostbite. It is advisable to read the work of Jack Londan Koster before the release, otherwise it will turn out like in this video.

Nothing boded ills, in the taiga in the frost -50 everything seemed to be in order, and already in the hut I felt that with my fingers on my leg, something is not right. There was a huge swelling on my leg after 2 hours as I went into the hut. The tumor over time was very sore and was becoming increasingly tearing near lying tissue of healthy skin.

I had to remove a large area of ​​skin on the tumor to stop it. Frostbite of the second degree. And if the cooling comes to the bone, then perhaps Gangrene, blood infection and amputation of the limb, and even life. Be very careful in frost. It is better to wait in the hut or at home.

Source: NGNogov. Official and traditional medicine. The most detailed encyclopedia.- Moscow: Izd-vo Eksmo, 2012.

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