Cold Weather Injuries (Military)


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Description of cold weather injuries and how to treat them for ROTC/military units

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Cold Weather Injuries (Military)

  2. 2. Agenda ✤ References ✤ Chilblain ✤ Frostbite ✤ Trench foot ✤ Hypothermia ✤ Dehydration ✤ Snow blindness ✤ Questions
  3. 3. REFERENCES ✤ DVC 08-36 ✤ DVC 08-37 ✤ FM 4-25.11 ✤ STP 21-1-SMCT
  4. 4. Seek Medical Aid Immediately ✤ If situation allows, do not stop administering first aid. Send someone else to get help. ✤ Cold weather injuries can occur starting at 60F ✤ Might be effected by wind chill, duration of exposure, history of cold injuries ✤ Pack correctly for the situation
  5. 5. Chilblain ✤ Small, itchy red areas on skin ✤ Possible blistering ✤ Swelling of skin ✤ Burning sensation ✤ Changes in skin color - red, dark blue ✤ Pain ✤ Effects mostly Women, underweight, poor circulation
  6. 6. Treatment ✤ Rewarm the affected part by applying firm steady pressure with your hands or placing the affected part under your arms or against the stomach of a buddy ✤ Do not rub area ✤ Have medical personnel evaluate - signs are slow to show
  7. 7. Frostbite ✤ Painful, prickly, itching sensation ✤ Red, white, pale or gray/yellow skin ✤ Hard or waxy looking skin ✤ Cold or burning ✤ Numbness ✤ Clumsiness ✤ Blistering
  8. 8. Treatment ✤ Face, ears, nose: Cover the casualty’s affected area with another person’s bare hands until sensation and color return ✤ Hands: Open the casualty’s field jacket and shirt and place the hands under their own armpit and close the jacket and shirt to prevent exposure ✤ Feet: Remove boots and socks and place feet under clothing and against the body of another soldier ✤ DO NOT thaw the casualty’s feet if they must walk to medical center. Injury is more likely when feet have thawed.
  9. 9. Trench Foot ✤ Long exposure to wet conditions 50F - 32F ✤ Stage one: cold and painless areas, pulse is weak, numbness. ✤ Stage two: hot and burning, shooting pain ✤ Later stages: skin is pale with bluish cast, decrease pulse, blisters, swelling, redness
  10. 10. Treatment ✤ Do not expose injured part to an open fire ✤ Rewarm the injured part gradually by exposing to warm air ✤ Protect the part from trauma and secondary infections ✤ Use dry, loose clothing or several layers of warm coverings ✤ Elevate ✤ Do not massage, moisten, apply heat or ice
  11. 11. Hypothermia ✤ Early: shivering, pulse is faint, drowsiness, mental slowness, stiffness, lack of coordination, slurred speech ✤ Moderate: glassy eyes, slow and shallow breathing, very weak or absent pulse, increasing stiffness, lack of coordination, unconsciousness ✤ Severe: frozen extremities, irregular heart action, sudden death
  12. 12. Treatment ✤ Remove person from cold ✤ Remove wet clothing and put on dry clothing. ✤ Warm trunk first, not hands and feet ✤ Do not immerse in warm water ✤ Do not apply heat directly to skin ✤ CPR, if needed, at same time ✤ Warm fluids - avoid caffeine or alcohol
  13. 13. Dehydration ✤ Parched, dry mouth, tongue and throat ✤ difficulty swallowing ✤ nausea ✤ extreme dizziness and fainting ✤ tired and weak ✤ difficulty focusing eyes
  14. 14. Treatment ✤ Keep warm ✤ Loosen clothes to improve circulation unless in chemical environment ✤ Give fluids ✤ Transport the casualty to a medical treatment facility
  15. 15. Snow Blindness ✤ Sensation of grit in eyes, watery eyes, redness, headache, increased pain with exposure to light ✤ Treatment: Cover eyes with a dark cloth or glasses ✤ Improvise: Don’t have glasses? Makeshift glasses shown above out of MRE box
  16. 16. Questions ✤ Backbrief