Here in the great city of Minneapolis, Minnesota, our high temperature today is -4F. All the schools in my immediate area will be closed and many more throughout the state will be starting late.
Being out in very cold weather under dangerous cir**ZIT**stances is not compulsory here, but there’s a lot of winter recreation and sometimes it happens. Having to walk in cold weather like this is something we plan for if a car should break down or get stuck. This kind of very, very cold usually only happens in January, but it happens and life still must go on.
The children get the day off because it’s too dangerous for them to wait for the bus or walk to school, but people everywhere will get up and go to work despite the cold.
injury to body tissues caused by exposure to extreme cold, typically affecting the nose, fingers, or toes and sometimes resulting in gangrene.
I just did a little calculating online. Our temperature right now is -5F. The wind is 15 mph with gusts to 26 mph. That means that exposed skin will become seriously damaged in less than 15 minutes.
Even though frostbite and burns land at different ends of the thermometer, the damage to the skin similar. The rapid dehydration of the skin leads to blisters as the skin tries to protect and repair itself. The deeper the dehydration goes (destruction of the tissue by burning or freezing) the more serious the injury. Frostbite has a scale of 1 – 3 degrees just like burns do. Very briefly:
1st Degree: This is called frostnip and only affects the surface of the skin, which is frozen
2nd Degree: The skin may freeze and harden, but the deep tissues are not affected and remain soft and normal. Blisters develop a day or so after the exposure and all takes about a month to heal.
3rd & 4th Degrees: Deep Frost The muscles, tendons, blood vessels, and nerves all freeze. The skin is hard, feels waxy, and use of the area is lost temporarily, and in severe cases, permanently. The blisters that develop with this are purple to black in color and are filled with blood. If the exposed area isn’t treated, the damaged bits (nose, toes, fingers) can fall off. If the blisters aren’t tended well, they could become infected, gangrene sets in and the damaged bits have to be amputated to keep the necrosis from spreading.
Frostbite feels kind of itchy at first, can get quite painful and feel like a burn, but when the feeling of pain goes away while still exposed, it means the nerves have been affected. If those nerves are frozen, when they warm up, the pain is absolutely horrendous.
This dear has second degree frostbite on a few of her fingers. This video is of a medical professional draining the fluid from one of her blisters. Enjoy
YT Poster: Tikes16
Run Time: 5:31