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July 14, 1951


Author Affiliations


From the Hektoen Institute for Medical Research, the Department of Surgery, Cook County Hospital, and the Presbyterian Hospital.

JAMA. 1951;146(11):992-995. doi:10.1001/jama.1951.03670110012004

The treatment of acute frostbite has been advanced greatly by experimental investigations1 on the pathologic physiology of this injury during the last war. This work was stimulated by the frequent occurrence of frostbite in the armed forces2 and the unsatisfactory results of the accepted forms of treatment. Lange,3 Friedman,4 and Shumacker5 then demonstrated experimentally that anticoagulants in acute frostbite prevented development of thrombosis and gangrene. In civilian practice the occurrence of frostbite is, as a rule, uncommon, so that series of clinical results with the use of anticoagulants have not been reported. However at the Cook County Hospital in Chicago, 30 patients with frostbite were admitted and treated during the winters of 1949 and 1950; 14 of them had acute frostbite and were treated with effective anticoagulant therapy, in addition to the treatment previously used. The purpose of this report is to present the results