Treatment

FIELD MANAGEMENT Field management of frostbite by emergency medical service personnel is simple. The hypothermia and dehydration associated with frostbite should be addressed. Wet and constrictive clothing should be removed. The involved extremities should be elevated and carefully wrapped in dry sterile gauze, with affected fingers and toes separated. Further cold injury should be avoided. In most cases, more aggressive wound management should be avoided and the patient transported to the emergency department. However, in some cases the patient may be several days away from evacuation and medical services and more complex management might be indicated before arrival to the hospital (Table 185-3).

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