Frostbite Amputation

Frostbitten Elsa from Frozen can be misleading; frost bites are actually very lethal and may require amputation. Beware of the cold, for its effects can be permanent and its bite can be deadly.

What is it?

Frostbite is a medical condition in which damage is caused to skin and other tissues due to freezing. It’s caused by reduced blood flow when the body is exposed to cold temperatures for long periods of time. This lack of blood leads to the eventual freezing and death of skin tissue in the affected areas, causing a morbid texture of the skin.

Where is it located?

Frostbite occurs in areas of extreme cold, as seen in the movies. The groups of people who are at greatest risk for frostbite are the elderly who live without adequate heating, food, and shelter as well as people who spend a great deal of time outdoors, such as hikers, hunters, and the homeless.

How will it kill you?

Deep, severe frostbite occurs when the muscles, tendons, blood vessels, and nerves all freeze. Use of the area can be permanently lost. These areas result in purple blisters that turn black and are filled with blood. The affected parts of the body will then either be infected with gangrene or will eventually fall off. Death occurs when the frostbitten areas are left untreated.

How to survive?

Frostbite prevention is the most important part of staying safe. Frostbitten areas must be warmed up immediately in order to allow the affected body parts to thaw. Movement of these areas should also be prevented through the use of splints or wraps found in resource packs. For this reason, rubbing, massaging, or other ways of applying physical force in an attempt to rewarm should be avoided as this can only be harmful. Necrotic tissue from severe or gangrenous cases must be removed through amputation.

Which famous supermodel suffered from frostbite during a shoot in Antarctica?

Kate Upton worked a six-day photo shoot in Antarctica which appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated in February 2013. She said that she began to lose hearing and eyesight because her body was shutting down from working so hard to keep her warm.


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