Frostbite isn’t common and you may never encounter patients suffering from the condition. But preparation is key and it’s crucial that you equip yourself with the necessary knowledge to treat even the most uncommon conditions. For air ambulance transport paramedics, there may be instances where you’re sent off to remote mountain locations. What if you have to rescue someone in those mountains and what if they’re experiencing frostbite?
Caring for Frostbite Patients in Air Ambulance Transport
Take a look at these tips to help you care for a patient experiencing frostbite:
- Prior to treatment – As an air ambulance paramedic, there may be times when you have to administer pre-hospital treatment to patients. In case of frostbite, you will need to take the necessary steps to administer care and prevent excessive tissue damage. Begin by correcting the patient’s airway and breathing before you begin with the treatment process.
- Re-warming tissue – Frostbite can damage the tissues extensively if not treated on time. So you’ll need to warm up the frostbitten areas to prevent the condition from escalating. The goal is to prevent re-freezing, so that doctors can salvage as much tissue as possible. You can use warm water at a temperature of 40-42°C to warm up the frostbitten areas.
Make sure you try to administer treatment for pain associated with the re-warming process. And try to avoid stopping the procedure too early, as this could re-freeze the frostbitten areas.
Choosing an appropriate treatment facility – Air ambulance transport services often transport the patient to the closest medical facility. However, if there’s a facility close by specializing in burns, see if it would be a better option to transport the patient there. Some medical centers may not be familiar to treating frostbites and they’ll have to transfer the patient again to a facility that specializes in burn treatment.