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shop online at www.missourivalleyshopper.com January 28, 2020 • Page 3 Frostbite: Serious Coldweather Risk When temperatures drop below 30 degrees (Fahrenheit), farmers, ranchers and anyone working outside are at risk to incur frostbite, trench foot and/or chilblains. This is especially true when cold is combined with wind. Cold weather conditions are the most common cause of frostbite, although direct contact with ice, frozen metal or very cold liquids can also lead to frostbite. Trench foot is a type of tissue damage brought on by prolonged exposure to cold and wet conditions. It leads to swelling, pain and sensory disturbances in the feet. Chilblains are the painful inflammation of small blood vessels in the skin that occur in response to repeated exposure to cold but not freezing air. Also referred to as pernio, chilblains can cause itching, red patches, swelling and blistering on hands and feet. Aaron Yoder, environmental, associate professor for agricultural and occupational health at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, says farmers and ranchers can avoid these serious cold weather illnesses by recognizing their symptoms and understanding how to respond if either frostbite, trench foot or chilblains occur. “Fingers, toes, cheeks, nose and ears are the areas where frostbite typically occurs,” Yoder says. “Once skin has been frostbitten, it may look white or grayish yellow. It may feel cold, hard, and maybe waxy to the touch.” Persons with frostbitten skin will experience numbness of the area, aching, tingling and stinging. Appropriate first aid response includes finding a warm room or shelter (i.e. a vehicle) as soon as possible. If your feet or toes are frostbitten, avoid walking, which can lead to further tissue damage. “Soak the affected area(s) in warm but not hot water,” Yoder says. “Avoid rubbing the affected area because that could cause tissue damage. Use a soft cloth the wrap the affected area, but don’t use a heating pad, fireplace or radiator for warming the frostbitten area. If there’s a chance the area could be refrozen, don’t warm it.” Minor frostbite can be treated at home. Serious frostbite may involve rewarming, medications, wound care, surgery and other various therapies. If frostbite is severe enough to warrant a physician’s care, provide the doctor with the following information to assist in developing a treatment plan: 1. List all signs and symptoms you’re experiencing. 2. Document the length of time you have experienced the symptoms. 3. List key medical information, including all other medical conditions, prescribed medications, OTC medications and supplements. 4. Document the date of your last tetanus shot. Frostbite increases the risk of tetanus. If it’s been more than 10 years since your last tetanus vaccination, your doctor may recommend a tetanus vaccination. 5. List all the questions you have for your doctor about what to expect, such as: a. Are tests need to confirm a diagnosis of frostbite? b. What are my treatment options; what are the pros and cons of each option? c. What results can I expect? d. What skin care routines do you recommend during my healing process? e. What kind of followup should I expect? f. What changes should I look for in my skin? In addition to rewarming, a physician may use oral pain medicine to ease the pain of rewarming a frostbitten and gangrene. inside comfortable, “Anytime you area. Once the skin thaws, To treat trench foot, insulated footwear. experience heavy the doctor may loosely remove shoes or boots Insulated gloves protect shivering, severe fatigue, wrap the area with sterile and wet socks. Dry the hands and dexterity, drowsiness, or signs of sheets, towels or dressings feet. Avoid walking to which is affected by cold-induced illness, to protect the skin while reduce the risk of damage temperatures below 59 seek warm shelter it heals. The affected area to foot tissue. degrees (Fahrenheit). immediately,” Yoder says. may need to be elevated to Areas most susceptible On-site sources of “Avoid tasks that cause reduce swelling. to chilblains are the heat, such as radiant you to sweat, as that will To properly heal, a toes, fingers, ears, and heaters and air jets, can quickly rob your body of frostbitten are must be nose. When chilblains help provide protective heat.” free of damaged, dead occur, symptoms include warmth. Anyone Warm, caffeine and or infected tissue. It’s redness, blistering, itching, experiencing prolonged alcohol-free beverages can possible that damaged inflammation and (in exposure to wind chill be used to help maintain tissue cannot be removed severe cases) ulceration. temperatures below 20 energy and body heat. for one to three months. To treat chilblains, degrees (Fahrenheit) Staying in good physical Whirlpool avoid scratching the should have access to a condition also helps (hydrotherapy) or affected area. Slowly heater shelter or vehicle. prevent cold-related physical therapy may warm the skin and use Reducing drafty or illness. be included in frostbite corticosteroid creams windy areas within “Farm and ranch treatment. Hydrotherapy to relieve itching and buildings will help managers need to take aids healing by keeping swelling. If blisters and shield work areas. When precautions to keep skin clean and by naturally ulcers are present, they temperatures drop below workers safe during cold removing dead tissue. If should be kept clean and 30 degrees (Fahrenheit), and/or wet weather, too,” the skin or blisters appear covered. thermal insulating material Yoder says. “Allow them infected, infection fighting The most effective on equipment handles will to complete their work at drugs may be prescribed. treatment for these help protect your hands a comfortable pace, taking In the most serious cold-related illnesses is from excessive cold. Avoid extra breaks if necessary. frostbite cases, within the prevention, beginning with sitting or kneeling on cold, Always have workers first 24 hours, clot-busting appropriate dress. unprotected surfaces. doing jobs in teams during drugs may be used to “When you’re working “Anyone suffering cold weather to help keep help restore blood flow to outdoors, wear a with ongoing medical an eye on one another.” the area. Severe frostbite minimum of three layers conditions may need to When possible, farm treatment may also require of clothing,” Yoder says. take special precautions managers should schedule surgery or amputation to “An outer layer to break when working in the outdoor work during the remove dead or decaying the wind, a middle layer cold,” Yoder says. “Check warmest part of the day, or tissue. Hyperbaric oxygen to retain insulation and an with your physician to move a job to an enclose therapy may also be used, inner layer that allows for determine if any of your area. Workers should be although the value of this ventilation. Have a change prescription medications discouraged from sitting treatment for frostbite is of clothes available in case might affect you when you or standing in prolonged still be studied. your garments become work in cold conditions.” periods during cold Following frostbite, wet.” Since alcohol and drugs weather. both prescribed and Since 40 percent can increase heat loss and “If your employees over-the-counter (OTC) of body heat can be impair judgment, never aren’t accustomed to drugs should be used to lost through the head, use these substances cold weather conditions, help combat pain. Some protecting the head and when working in a cold allow them to acclimate people may find it helpful facend cold weather th th environment. Know the in rd th themselves to it before th to apply aloe vera gelDecember 2 & 3 is9critical. Feet & 17 • and symptoms of or conditions , & 10 , 16 signs 1-3:00PM they begin a task,” Yoder Bring should be protected from lotion several times per Your Cameras! cold-induced conditions adds. day to the affected area. cold and dampness by and know the appropriate All exposure to cold and wearing layered socks first-aid response to them. wind should be avoided. No rings should be worn on frostbitten fingers and no other kinds of tight •Busch & Busch Light 30 pks ........... $15.79 items should be worn. •Old Milwaukee & Light 30 pks ........$14.99 In the case of frostbitten feet, don’t walk on them, •Miller High Life & Light 30 pks ........$14.99 don’t apply direct heat •Bud & Bud Light 24 pks ........................$17.99 or rub the area. If blisters 109 W. 3rd St. • 605-665-7865 * Yankton Meridian District * www.yanktonrexall.com develop, don’t break them as they act as a bandage. They will break on their own. In trench foot, which is typically less severe than frostbite, victims may experience reddening of the skin, numbness, leg cramps and swelling. They may also have tingling pain, blisters or ulcers, bleeding under the skin Always LOW Liquor Prices! art t he St ar wit h a New Ye New Roof! When it’s time to deliver... The Classifieds Rock! Shopper MV MV Shopper M I S S O U R I VA L L E Y In Print & Online! • 665-5884 M I S S O U R I VA L L E Y AVERA WELCOMES Brian Brandt, APRN, PMHNP-BC BEHAVIORAL HEALTH If you had hail in your area in the last year or two, or your roof is weathered YOU NEED to have it inspected. “No matter what you’re going through, you don’t have to go through it alone.” Brian Brandt, APRN, PMHNP-BC, joins Avera Medical Group Behavioral Health Yankton to serve the community with compassionate care. He sees adult patients facing mental health conditions, such as anxiety, depression, OCD, bipolar disorder, developmental disabilities and suicidal tendencies. “We’ve Got You Covered” Avera Medical Group Behavioral Health Yankton 409 Summit St., Suite 3200 | Yankton, SD 57078 605-655-1220 | Avera.org/doctors (605)857-1472 19-PHYS-20381 18-PHYS-15117 1600 Whiting Dr., Yankton, SD • Insurance Preferred Contractor • Family Owned – Locally Operated • Licensed / Bonded / Insured
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