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Frostbite

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Frostbite was the medical condition where localized damage was caused to skin and other tissues due to extreme cold. Frostbite was most likely to happen in body parts farthest from the heart and those with large exposed areas. Treatment of frostbite centered on the rewarming of the affected tissue. Excessive movement of frostbitten tissue could cause ice crystals that had formed in the tissue to do further damage. Splinting and/or wrapping frostbitten extremities was therefore recommended to prevent such movement. For this reason, rubbing, massaging, shaking, or otherwise applying physical force to frostbitten tissues in an attempt to rewarm them could have been harmful. Caution should have been taken not to rapidly warm up the affected area until further refreezing is prevented.

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