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HOME > J Trauma Inj > Volume 28(3); 2015 > Article
Clinical Analysis of Frostbite
Jang Kyu Choi, Hyun Chul Kim, Hong Kyung Shin
Journal of Trauma and Injury 2015;28(3):158-169
Published online: September 30, 2015
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Department of Surgery, The Armed Forces Capital Hospital, Gyeonggi-do, Korea.
Received: 21 August 2015   • Revised: 24 August 2015   • Accepted: 4 October 2015

Frostbite can affect still soldiers. Initial clinical manifestations are similar for superficial and deep frostbite, so early treatment is identical. It is under-estimated by physicians. We try to identify the challenges of managing these complex tissue injuries.
A retrospective analysis of 84 patients hospitalized at AFCH from 2009 to 2015 was conducted. We investigated differences of epidemiological characteristics, identification of soft tissue injury, treatment and complications between superficial (SF: 43; 51.2%) and deep (DF: 41; 48.8%) frostbite.
The major (94.0%) developed frostbite in dry circumstances (89.3%). Wet circumstances (66.7%) were more susceptible to DF rather than dry (46.7%). The 38 (45.2%) arrived to specialist within 7days. Most prone sites were feet, followed by hands. Toes had more deep injuries. DF presented more increased levels of ALT, CPK, CKMB, CRP. The bone scan of W+S+ was 48.3%, 87.1% and W+S- was 20.7%, 12.9%, respectively. The treatment resulted in improved or normalized perfusion scan with matching clinical improvement. It was a good tool to assess treatment response. Eighteen normal and 8 stenotic type of PCR resulted in normal with matching clinical improvement. One continuous obstructive waveform led to minor amputation. Twelve underwent both PCR and MRA. Among 6 normal PCR, 5 showed normal and one stenosis in MRA. All 5 stenosis and one obstruction showed the same findings in MRA. It was a good tool to evaluate vascular compromise. They were treated with rapid rewarming (11.6%, 22.0%), hydrotherapy (16.3%, 29.3%), respectively. Six (14.6%) underwent STSG, 2 (4.9%) had digital amputation in DF. Berasil, Ibuprofen, Trental were commonly administered. PGE1 was administered selectively for 6.8, 10.8 days, respectively. Raynaud's syndrome (16.3%), CRPS (4.7%), LOM (14.6%) and toe deformity (4.9%) were specific sequelae.
We should recommend intensive foot care education, early rewarming and evacuation to specialized units. The bone scanning and PCR should allow for a more aggressive and active approach to the management of tissue viability.

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