Steven Doerr, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Doerr received his undergraduate degree in Spanish from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He graduated with his Medical Degree from the University Of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver, Colorado in 1998 and completed his residency training in Emergency Medicine from Denver Health Medical Center in Denver, Colorado in 2002, where he also served as Chief Resident.
Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.
Winter cold and snow provide a number of opportunities to get outside and participate in activities such as skiing, sledding, and snowmobiling. However, without proper protection, cold weather-related injuries can occur even when temperatures are above freezing (32 F, 0 C). This is especially true if there are high winds or if clothing is wet. In general, however, it is both the temperature and the duration of exposure that play a role in determining the extent and severity of cold weather-related injuries. This information describes the different types of cold weather-related injuries, as well as what to do to prevent and treat them prior to reaching a health care practitioner.
What type of injuries can be caused by cold
Cold weather-related injuries can be divided into two general categories. There are those injuries that occur without the freezing of body tissue, such as chilblains, trench foot, and frostnip, and those injuries that occur with the freezing of body tissue, such as frostbite. Hypothermia is a medical condition characterized by a core body temperature that is abnormally low.
Frostbite typically occurs in military personel or others who work outdoors, or in outdoor winter sports enthusiasts. People who become stranded outdoors can also become victims of frostbite.
The areas of the body affected by frostbite feel cold and firm. Burning, tingling, stinging, or numbing sensations may be present. Clumsiness can result from impaired motor control. When the affected body part is rewarmed, a throbbing or burning pain may result. ...