I am a
Home I AM A Search Login

Papers of the Week

2022 Oct

Plast Reconstr Surg Glob Open



Practical Review of the Current Management of Frostbite Injuries.


Zaramo TZ, Green JK, Janis JE
Plast Reconstr Surg Glob Open. 2022 Oct; 10(10):e4618.
PMID: 36299821.


Frostbite is an injury that occurs when the skin and tissues are exposed to temperatures below their freezing point. This type of injury can lead to various complications such as functional loss, chronic pain, and psychological trauma. As such, understanding frostbite management is crucial for optimal patient care. A scoping review was conducted in February 2022 using PubMed, EMBASE, referenced articles and snowballing to identify relevant published articled using the terms "frostbite" and "management" and "surgery. Articles related to pathophysiology, classifications, radiography, complications, and medical and surgical management were included to formulate recommendations for practical management. Two hundred fifty-one articles were identified and 54 met inclusion criteria. Rapid rewarming in warm water (40-42 °C) remains the standard of care. Thrombolytic therapy has been shown in numerous studies to improve tissue salvage. Radiographic imaging has become crucial in the evaluation and management in frostbite injury. Current literature recommends delayed surgery with soft tissue debridement and bone scan-guided amputations. Surgical intervention including debridement, selective blister drainage, fasciotomies, surgical salvage, skin grafts' and flaps are often necessary in these patients towards optimizing form and function. The true prevalence and incidence of frostbite injury is unknown. A centralized national database will improve our understanding of the diagnostic and management modalities used in frostbite care. Plastic surgeons have a critical role in the management of frostbite care and must work with an interdisciplinary team to identify the best treatment route for optimal patient care.