Prevention and treatment of freezing-cold injuries | NAFKAM

Prevention and treatment of freezing-cold injuries

Background: Over the past few decades, there have been hundreds of freezing-cold injuries in the Norwegian armed forces. There are, at the time limited opportunities for the diagnosis and treatment of peripheral frostbite. It therefore seems to be a need for increased knowledge about prevention and risk factors as well as to examine off-label treatments.

Purpose: Conduct mapping of peripheral rearmability of thermography and sensory nerve function by quantitative sensory tests (QST) for, if possible, identifying risk factors and effect of treatment. Initially, the project investigates the ability to rewarm your fingers after a standardized cold challenge with dynamic infrared thermography (DIRT) in a healthy population of Norwegian soldiers before and after winter service, and the disease course of frostbite injured  personnel.

Research method: The study is conducted at The Norwegian Armed Forces’ departments in Indre Troms and at the University Hospital of North Norway (UNN), and consists of several parts;

  1. Personnel in a healthy soldier population are examined with DIRT, at the start of their conscription, in order to evaluate their rewarming capacity after standardized cold challenge in one minute water bath (20 ° C)
  1. It is also to be investigated how healthy individuals respond to acupuncture treatment, local circulatory effect of acupuncture measured by thermography
  1. Furthermore, a comparison of the ability to rewarming must be done before and after the winter service.
  1. Soldiers with frostbite will be offered the off-label treatment with acupuncture and /or botox injections. These patients will be followed up with angiography, DIRT and quantitative sensory measurements (QST) before and after the treatment

The video above shows re-warming of hands which have been through a standardized cooling to 20 degrees celsius. The video shows that circulation normally is reestored within 4 minutes. Notice that re-warming of the fingers starts at the fingertips and from there moves in towards the hand.

An explanation of how and why this is done, is shown in the the ressearch done by Arne Johan Norheim.

Project Manager: Arne Johan Norheim

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