To treat frostbite, patients should be completely reassessed and treated for underlying comorbidities before attempting frostbite dressing and rewarming. Moderate to severe hypothermia must be corrected before initiating treatment for frostbite. The time and circumstances surrounding the injury determine the appropriate course of treatment. The pre-hospital treatment and time of rewarming should be recorded to determine how effective it was.
After rewarming, the skin on affected limbs should be kept warm but not moved. The skin will be discoloured and blistered. In superficial cases, new pink skin will form beneath the scabs. In more severe frostbite, the patient will require admission to a burns unit or trauma center. The wound is cared for on a daily basis. Most skin grafts are performed in the third to fourth weeks following injury.
Management of frostbite varies depending on the extent of the damage and the severity of the condition. The general condition of the patient must be assessed and any other injuries detected. The affected part should be carefully wrapped to avoid trauma. Antibiotics may be prescribed, although their effectiveness is controversial. Cultures should be performed before prescribing antibiotics for patients with severe burn injuries. The patient will need long-term care and should undergo physical therapy, neurologic rehabilitation, psychological support, and counseling.
Surgical interventions for rewarming are required if the wound is inoperable or severe. Osteoprosthetic surgery for deep frostbite is performed under a doctor’s supervision. This surgical procedure is recommended in the case of active bleeding in a compartment. However, escharotomy and fasciotomy have no proven role in the prevention of frostbite. Despite these complications, the risk of death in the early stages is minimal.
Besides skin-healing and rewarming, the treatment of frostbite involves a range of treatments. The main goal of treatment is to minimize pain and avoid further damage, and to prevent the symptoms of the condition. Using a specialized wound-healing agent may help in reversing the condition and preventing severe consequences. The best way to deal with frostbite is by treating the symptoms early.
Depending on the severity of the frostbite, the skin may appear red or purple and is inoperable. In cases of deep frostbite, it is imperative to seek medical care for treatment. During this stage, the patient is likely to require IV fluids, pain medication, and a wrap. A doctor may also administer a clot-buster medication. The area will be black and feel hard. If the area is severely damaged, tissue death will occur.
Once the affected extremity has been rewarming, it is important to assess the level of damage. The loss of sensation is a poor prognostic indicator. Tight rings and tight bandages can cause vascular compromise and pain. Clinical photography reduces pain and the risk of infection. A professional may be able to see the entire area by removing the dressing and photographing it. When the skin is thawed, the temperature should be reassessed every day.