Frostbite - susceptibility, Prevention and Immediate Treatment
AbstractFrostbite, the severest form of cold injury, is a major health hazard and a serious medical problem for theArmed Forces operating in snow-bound areas at high altitudes. Detailed experiments on susceptibility, preventionand treatment were conducted to find out suitable measures to prevent, treat and ameliorate wld injuries.Experiments conducted on monkeys have shown that animals with higher peripheral vascular response me betterprotected against cold injury. Measurements of cold-induced vasodilatation (CIVD), heat output and peripheralblood flow under local cold stress can be used to screen out highly prone individuals to frostbite. Coldacclimatisation was effective in raising the peripheral vascular response and thereby lessening the degree ofinjury. Frostbite having occurred, its treatment is not very satisfactory. This is primarily due to the time lagbetween occurrence of frostbite and initiation of therapy, which plays a vital role in its curative action. Keepingthis in view, many experiments have been wnductedon this treatment. Pilot studies were carriedoutusing variousdrugs and vitamins, and also procedures like rapid rewarming in warm water, tea decoction, turnip (shalgum)decoction, etc., singly as well as in combination, for treatment. The most encouraging result was obtained by theprocedure of rapid rewarming in tea decoction maintained at 37-39 "C immediately after cold exposure, followedby combined therapy of aspirin (5 mgtkg) and pentoxifylline (40 mgkg) along with vitamin C (50 mglkg) twicedaily for 7 days.
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