Frostbite is caused by exposure of inadequately protected flesh to subfreezing temperatures. Tissue damage is caused by the reduced blood flow to the extremities, as opposed to hypothermia, which causes lowering of the body's rate of metabolism.


- uncontrollable fits of shivering -
- Vague, slow, slurred speech -
- Memory lapses, incoherence -
- Immobile, fumbling hands, lurching walk, stumbling -
- Drowsiness (TO SLEEP IS TO DIE) -
- Apparent exhaustion, inability to get up after a rest -

FIRST LINE OF DEFENSE: Aviod exposure, stay dry, be aware of the wind, understand and don't underestimate the cold.

SECOND LINE OF DEFENSE: Terminate exposure- get out of the wind and rain, build a fire, never ignore shivering, forestall exhaustion. If possible, appoint a foul-weather leader.

THIRD LINE OF DEFENSE: Watch yourself and others for the symptoms listed above.


Get victim out of the wind and rain
Strip off all wet clothes
If patient is only mildly impaired, give the person warm drinks
Get the person into dry clothes and warm sleeping bag
If the person is semi-consious, try to keep awake
Give the person warm drinks
Leave them stripped, put in sleeping bag with another person (also stripped)
Skin to skin contact is the most effective
Build a fire to warm the camp

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