Keep the affected part elevated in order to reduce swelling
Move to a warm area to prevent further heat loss.
Note that many people with frostbite may be experiencing hypothermia.
Saving their lives is more important than preserving a finger or foot.
Remove all constrictive jewelry and clothes because they may further block
Give the person warm, nonalcoholic, noncaffeinated fluids to drink.
Apply a dry, sterile bandage, place cotton between any involved fingers or
toes (to prevent rubbing), and take the person to a medical facility as soon as
Never rewarm an affected area if there is any chance it may freeze again.
This thaw-refreeze cycle is very harmful and leads to disastrous results.
Also, avoid a gradual thaw either in the field or in the transport vehicle.
The most effective method is to rewarm the area quickly. Therefore, keep the
injured part away from sources of heat until you arrive at a treatment facility
where proper rewarming can take place.
Do not rub the frozen area with snow (or anything else, for that matter).
The friction created by this technique will only cause further tissue
Above all, keep in mind that the final amount of tissue destruction is
proportional to the time it remains frozen, not to the absolute temperature to
which it was exposed. Therefore, rapid transport to a hospital is very
After initial life threats are excluded, rewarming is the highest
This is accomplished rapidly in a water bath heated to 40-42°C
(104-107.6°F) and continued until the thaw is complete (usually 15-30
Narcotic pain medications may be given because this process is very
Because dehydration is very common, IV fluids may also be given.
After rewarming, post-thaw care is undertaken in order to prevent infection
and a continuing lack of oxygen to the area.
The clear blisters are removed while the bloody ones are left intact so as
not to disturb the underlying blood vessels.