FROSTBITE is a common injury of man transposed from temperate to cold climate, yet little is known of the physiologic disturbances it creates, and the treatment of it is still in the realm of empiricism. The adverse effects of this injury assumed special importance during the recent war, when these studies were undertaken.
The resemblance of frostbite to burns, the experimental observations of Lewis1 and the experience in the early years of World War II in the treatment of immersion foot with cold2 suggested that the disorder of the arterial and lymphatic circulation induced by frostbite might well be similar to that following burns. Accordingly, as a beginning to a better physiologic understanding and more rational therapy, the experimental studies of the circulatory disturbances of trauma due to burns were extended to frostbite, including the possible use of cold and warmth in treatment.
Frostbite was produced experimentally
ROSENFELD L, LANGOHR JL, OWEN CR, COPE O. CIRCULATION OF THE BLOOD AND LYMPH IN FROSTBITE AND INFLUENCE OF THERAPEUTIC COLD AND WARMTH: An Experimental Study. Arch Surg. 1949;59(5):1045–1055. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1949.01240041055006
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