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January 30, 1937


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From the Division of Workmen's Compensation, Office of the Corporation Counsel of the City of New York.

JAMA. 1937;108(5):369-371. doi:10.1001/jama.1937.02780050025008

Because mild, transient frost-bite in American cities is common, one is prone to forget that it may be a serious disease among outdoor workers. In the three winters 1933-1936, this disease caused one death each year among employees of the city of New York. Two of these fatal cases were complicated by diabetes and one by advanced arteriosclerosis which, in combination with frost-bite, produced fatal gangrene. Other cases, with or without underlying disease, resulted in permanently crippled hands and feet in spite of all treatment (figs. 1-5).

In 1934 a study was made of the conditions under which frost-bite occurs among the city employees exposed to winter weather in the course of their work.1 During the past two years 505 new cases have occurred. Experience with these cases has confirmed the opinion previously expressed that the most important factor besides cold is the wind velocity and that the humidity

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