Hypothermia is defined as a decrease in core body temperature below 95.6 F. As certified athletic trainers, we most commonly treat mild to moderate hypothermia. Prevention of hypothermia is most important and starts with:
Signs and Symptoms:
Frostbite is the freezing of body tissues. This is a localized response and usually occurs when there is a high wind, severe cold, or both. Frostbite most commonly affects the extremities and happens because the body is redirecting blood flow towards the core to maintain temperature. The severity of frostbite is determined by the depth of the tissue that is freezing. Mild frostbite involves freezing of the skin and adjacent tissues. Deep frostbite is the freezing of the tissues below the skin and adjacent tissues, which could include muscle, tendon, and bone. Deep frostbite is a serious injury and requires immediate hospitalization. Fortunately deep frostbite is rarely seen except with prolonged exposure in extreme cold weather conditions. Frostnip is the precursor to frostbite, where only the superficial skin is frozen. There is no permanent tissue damage.
Signs and Symptoms
National Athletic Trainers’ Association Position Statement: Environmental Cold Injuries Thomas A. Cappaert, PhD, ATC, CSCS, CES*;Jennifer A. Stone, MS, ATC, CSCS_;John W. Castellani, PhD, FACSM`;Bentley Andrew Krause, PhD, ATC;Daniel Smith, ATC, CSTS, ARTI; Bradford A. Stephens, MD, PC"
Prentice W. Principles Of Athletic Training. 14th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill; 2011:162-16