Treat Frostbite

Important Information

Frostbite occurs when an area of the body freezes and ice crystals form within the cells

Frostnip is the first stage that affects the surface of the skin, which becomes red, painful and may itch

Superficial frostbite affects the skin layers, but not the soft tissue below; The skin becomes hard and white

Deep frostbite affects the entire tissue layers including the muscles, tendons, blood vessels and nerves; The area may be white, deep purple or red with blisters and feel hard and woody

Treat frostbite as a medical emergency; Follow primary and secondary care procedures

Patient Care; Frostbite

STOP - Assess and observe the scene; Has the patient been exposed to a cold environment?
THINK - Consider your safety and form action plan; Is there a warm dry area nearby?
ACT - Check responsiveness and Alert EMS

More About Temperature Illness

Arrow icon Treatment For Hypothermia
Arrow icon Treatment For Heat Stroke
Arrow icon Treatment for Skin Burns