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Postgrad Med. 1999 Jan;105(1):72-8.

Cold injuries. Protecting your patients from the dangers of hypothermia and frostbite.

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Minnesota State University, Mankato 56002, USA.


Hypothermia may occur in any part of the country but is an especially important concern among people who enjoy cold weather sports. Prompt recognition and treatment are paramount, since many hypothermia victims have recovered from very low body temperatures. Therefore, even if someone appears to be dead from exposure to cold, resuscitative efforts should be started and continued until the proper core body temperature is reached. Although frostbite is often considered minor, it can cause permanent tissue damage. Preparation is the key to protecting patients from the effects of cold weather, and frostbite, frostnip, and hypothermia should always be taken seriously. Treatment in a medical facility can make the difference between full recovery and lifelong problems.

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