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Don't be left out in the cold

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doi: 10.1097/01.NURSE.0000530372.08239.f6
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INSTRUCTIONS Frostbite: Don't be left out in the cold


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Lippincott Professional Development will award 1.5 contact hours for this continuing nursing education activity.

Lippincott Professional Development is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation.

Lippincott Professional Development is also an approved provider of continuing nursing education by the District of Columbia, Georgia, and Florida CE Broker #50-1223. This activity is also provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider Number CEP 11749 for 1.5 contact hours.

Frostbite: Don't be left out in the cold

GENERAL PURPOSE: To provide an overview of frostbite management. LEARNING OBJECTIVES/OUTCOMES: After completing this continuing-education activity, you should be able to: 1. Summarize the pathophysiology of frostbite. 2. List the clinical manifestations of frostbite. 3. Outline nursing interventions for patients with frostbite.

  1. Areas most frequently affected by frostbite include the
    1. posterior thorax.
    2. calf muscles.
    3. ears.
  2. What increases the risk of frostbite?
    1. obesity
    2. dyslipidemia
    3. smoking
  3. Pathologic phases of frostbite include
    1. cellular hydration.
    2. vascular stasis.
    3. vasodilation.
  4. The degree of frostbite injury is determined primarily by the
    1. location of tissue freezing.
    2. depth of tissue freezing.
    3. onset of tissue freezing.
  5. The extent of damage from frostbite is usually known how long after the injury?
    1. 72 hours
    2. 2 weeks
    3. 45 to 90 days
  6. The overlying skin of a body part with frostnip is typically
    1. soft and pliable.
    2. firm and rigid.
    3. frozen and insensate.
  7. Thawing a body part with first-degree frostbite will produce which level of pain intensity within a few hours?
    1. mild
    2. moderate
    3. severe
  8. Skin that looks pale, white, waxy, blue-gray, or mottled best describes which frostbite injury?
    1. first-degree
    2. second-degree
    3. third-degree
  9. After thawing, the blisters in third-degree frostbite contain
    1. serous fluid.
    2. purulent fluid.
    3. hemorrhagic fluid.
  10. In fourth-degree frostbite, tissue freezing extends as far as
    1. muscle and bone.
    2. epidermis and dermis.
    3. dermis and subcutaneous fat.
  11. If a frostbitten area could refreeze after thawing,
    1. actively rewarm it.
    2. allow it to spontaneously thaw slowly.
    3. massage it vigorously.
  12. Which is the best method to rewarm a frostbitten body part?
    1. Gently swirl it in a warm water bath.
    2. Place it above an external source of dry heat.
    3. Rub it with snow.
  13. When rewarming a frostbitten body part, which medication may have a beneficial effect on tissue viability?
    1. acetaminophen
    2. ibuprofen
    3. morphine
  14. What temperature is recommended for water bath immersion of frostbitten body parts?
    1. 34° C to 36° C (93.2° F to 96.8° F)
    2. 37° C to 39° C (98.6° F to 102.2° F)
    3. 40° C to 42.2° C (104° F to 108° F)
  15. Fibrinolytic agents should be administered within how many hours of rewarming?
    1. 24
    2. 48
    3. 72
  16. Which medications can increase the risk of frostbite?
    1. statins
    2. diuretics
    3. beta-blockers
  17. To help prevent frostbite, avoid consumption of
    1. alcohol.
    2. sports drinks.
    3. water.
  18. What's the best strategy to prevent frostbite of the feet?
    1. Wear multiple layers of socks.
    2. Use chemical warmers.
    3. Wear tight boots.
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