Frostbite is tissue damage resulting from exposure to low temperature. Frostbite most often exposed to the peripheral or poorly protected from the cold areas of the body. The most common frostbite toes, nose, cheeks, ears, fingers frostbite. Mistakenly believe that frostbite can occur only when the sub-zero temperatures, the presence of frost. In fact, high humidity and cold wind frostbite can occur at zero temperature, and even a little higher.
Factors that contribute to frostbite
The main mechanism of frostbite is poor circulation caused by microvascular spasm. Accordingly, all the factors that impair blood circulation, promote the emergence of frostbite. Such disturbing factors besides cold include:
- The tight, squeezing shoes or clothing;
- Prolonged muscle tension (eg, squeezing the hand wheel, etc.);
- The impact of alcohol;
- Diabetes mellitus, atherosclerosis and other diseases in which impaired vascular permeability;
- Blood loss;
- General weakness.
Signs of frostbite
Feature frostbite and its main risk is that the signs of frostbite are manifested in full measure only a day later after it happened. Therefore, being in the cold, you need to pay attention to signs of circulation, and they appear to take urgent measures.
The first signs of frostbite is the whitening of fabrics. On the cheeks appear white spots, which are seen more often. Whiten and ears and nose, but it can go unnoticed and whitening toes impossible to determine, since they are hidden shoes. In the case of frostbite fingers need to be guided to the loss of sensitivity. Pain in the period spasm (freezing) does not apply to typical signs of frostbite, it occurs only in the next phase - phase of paralytic vasodilatation. During freezing possible pain, but usually they are very small.
Tissue damage occurs in the phase of expansion of blood vessels, called reactive period of frostbite. The reaction comes after the cessation of exposure to cold. Therefore fully signs frostbite, as mentioned, occur 24 hours after a person has been freezing. Before the end of the period of reactive form an opinion about the depth of frostbite possible.
Depending on the depth of the lesion, there are four degrees of frostbite tissue. However doreaktivnoy phase, they do not differ in display all signs relate frostbite phase reactions:
- First degree frostbite. Skin purple-red or blue, later on frostbitten areas observed peeling. The affected areas are restored completely, there is only their increased sensitivity to cold;
- Second degree frostbite. Die surface portions of the dermis, causing the formation of bubbles, similar to those with burns. In contrast to the burn blisters, frostbite when bubbles contain a liquid mixed with blood (hemorrhagic content). Subsequently, the affected tissues are recovered completely, and as in the first-degree frostbite, always retain an increased sensitivity to cold;
- Third degree frostbite. It killed not only the skin but also the subcutaneous tissue. Initially, it is also possible formation of bubbles with hemorrhagic content, and then in their place are areas of dead tissue. Healing a long, on-site destruction of scar tissue is formed, it will forever remain a cosmetic defect;
- Fourth, the most severe degree of frostbite. There is death, not only the surface, but sometimes deep tissue - skin, subcutaneous tissue, muscle and even bone. Necrotic tissue removed or rejected on their own, with the formation of gross defects, deformation of tissues, and sometimes, especially if frozen fingers, loss of limb. Healing fourth-degree frostbite is very long, can occur within a few months.
First aid for frostbite
First aid for frostbite is to as quickly as possible cessation of exposure to cold. You must take the victim to a warm place. It should be remembered that the main damage to occur in the jet period, so warm, especially after prolonged exposure to cold, should be gradual, so as far as possible to reduce the intensity of the reaction.
The best way to warm the victim at the time of first aid at the frostbite is a warm bath, the temperature is gradually increased from 20 ° C and adjusted to 40 ° C. Then, the damaged area of the body should be washed with soap to avoid infection, and rub with a soft towel. It is impossible to produce a coarse grinding snow, woolen cloth, etc., so as not to cause further damage to the already injured skin.
If you can not take a bath in the case of warming frostbite, first aid consists of rubbing alcohol damaged areas, a warm damp cloth, or even a vigorous massaging them to restore circulation. When coming frostbitten fingers need to massage them quite a long time, as it is a peripheral area of the body and the blood supply is restored to the last. An indication that everything is done correctly, is the restoration of sensitivity, including pain. Therefore, first aid for frostbite involves taking painkillers.
Also, first aid for frostbite is to receive the warming inside. It may be hot drinks (tea, milk, cacao), hot food, a small amount of alcohol is acceptable - but only if the victim is already warm. Remember that alcohol doreaktivnoy phase can greatly exacerbate the problem.
Treatment of frostbite
Treatment of frostbite is to as quickly as possible the restoration of blood flow in damaged tissues, preventing attachment of secondary infection, creating the conditions for better healing of the damaged tissue and frostbite combat intoxication, which occurs when entering the decay products of dead tissue in the blood. Tactics of treatment depends on the stage of frostbite.
Treatment of frostbite the first and second stages is to treat superficial damage anti-inflammatory ointments and closing of aseptic bandage. In the healing phase are actively using physical therapy for tissue regeneration.
Treatment of frostbite third and fourth degree requires surgery to remove large areas of necrosis. Surgical treatment of frostbite is performed when the dead tissue from healthy delimited - for 8-14 days. Then apply the medication aimed at combating inflammation, maintaining normal blood circulation, recovery of strength and body functions.
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