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January 8, 1944


JAMA. 1944;124(2):96-97. doi:10.1001/jama.1944.02850020026012

Davis and his associates1 call attention to some particular features of the frostbite incurred by airmen which differ from the features of frostbite incurred by ground forces during severe winter weather and from those of the frostbite of the immersion foot of shipwrecked seamen. Among the factors which contribute to the peculiarities of high altitude frostbite are the extreme degrees of cold encountered, such as minus 40 to 50 C., and the varying degrees of existing anoxemia and ischemia. Particularly noteworthy is the predilection of high altitude frostbite for the extremities, whereas the face and other exposed portions of the body are not affected. The great difference in cold tolerance between the tissues of the cheek and the fingers cannot be explained satisfactorily on the basis of the greater heat radiating surface of the fingers. Whereas the heat radiating surface per tissue mass in the fingers is three to

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