Fast Five Quiz: Can You Properly Identify and Treat Frostbite?

C. Crawford Mechem, MD, MS

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January 15, 2015

Early surgery usually is contraindicated in frostbite, because of the time the nonviable tissue takes to demarcate. Older series show that performing debridement earlier than 2-3 weeks after warming significantly increases the amount of viable tissue removed and is harmful to the patient, resulting in an increased amputation rate, mortality, and morbidity. The only indication for early surgical intervention is post-thaw compartment syndrome warranting fasciotomy.

For more on the treatment for frostbite, read here.

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