What are the characteristics of a deep frostbite injury?

Updated: Oct 13, 2020
  • Author: Bobak Zonnoor , MD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Deep injury is characterized as follows:

  • Skin, subcutaneous levels, muscles, tendons, and bone are all involved

  • The dermis does not roll over bony prominences

  • Tissue remains mottled and pulseless after rewarming

  • Loss of sensation persists after rewarming

  • Increased loss of flexibility occurs with deeper tissue injury

  • Blister formation is infrequent; when present, blisters tend to be hemorrhagic

  • Tissue loss is common

  • A high risk of infection is present because of devitalized tissue and loss of skin barrier

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