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Prediction and Prevention of Frostbite

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Occurrence of frostbite Among teenagers, the annual incidence of frostbite in Finland was 4.1 in boys and 2.4 in girls. Lifetime experience of frostbite was 44 among men entering their military service. In Finland during the 6 to 12 month military service the prevalence of frostbite was 1.9 and sequelae of hand frostbite were present in 63 . Prediction of frostbite Individual risk factors of frostbite 95 CI are Raynauds phenomenon, OR 1.66 3.87, hand vibration OR 1.07 - 4.03 and current smoking OR 1.02 3.15. Development of frostbite is associated with fatigue, low physical activity, dehydration and use of alcohol. During military service independent risk factors for developing face and ear frostbite were the following not wearing a hat with earflaps or a scarf, applying protective ointment, and travelling in an open vehicle. Prevention of frostbites Screening before military service by e.g. a questionnaire assessing Raynaud s phenomenon, hand vibration and current smoking enables to identify personnel that are susceptible to frostbites. These persons may be either excluded from field operations, or be given special training on how to protect themselves. Education of officers and physicians is essential in order to be able to plan and train for winter manoeuvres. Protection from frostbites Each individual should be aware of the early signs indicating an increased risk of frostbite and know how to protect themselves. Appropriate selection and use of winter clothing protects from frostbites. Wind-proof, dry and not too tight clothing should be preferred. Exercise leading to exhaustion should be avoided. During periods of inactivity, the metabolic heat production should be increased by muscular work if possible, or alternatively use additional clothing or seek shelter. Adequate nutrition and hydration protects against frostbites.

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  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Medicine and Medical Research
  • Stress Physiology

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