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Course Outline

Frostbite occurs when tissue is damaged by extreme cold. Frostbite most frequently occurs in toes, fingers, ears, and nose.

Contributing Factors
  • Extreme cold
  • Wet clothes
  • Wind chill
  • Poor circulation (can be due to tight clothing, medications, or other medical conditions)
  • Skin turns off-white
  • Prickly or tingling feeling occurs as ice crystals form
  • Pain may be present initially, then disappears as frostbite progresses
  • In severe cases, loss of feeling occurs in the affected area
  • Wear clothing to protect vulnerable areas.
  • Avoid fabrics that retain moisture.
  • Before exposure, avoid alcohol and smoking. Get plenty of food and rest.
  • In prolonged exposure, find shelter and stay active
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