Frostbite is a cold-related injury characterized by freezing of tissue. Most cases of frostbite are encountered in soldiers, in persons who work outdoors in the cold, in homeless people, in athletes engaging in sports with seasons extending into the cold months of the year, and in winter outdoor enthusiasts, such as Nordic skiers.

Other risk factors include chronic medical conditions (eg, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, peripheral vascular disease, Raynaud phenomena), African American race, vibration-induced white finger (VIWF), previous history of frostbite, and use of certain medications (eg, beta-blockers, sedatives). Mountain frostbite is a variation observed among mountain climbers and others exposed to extremely cold temperatures and strong winds at high altitude. It combines tissue freezing with hypoxia and general body dehydration.

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What is Complex Regional Pain Syndrome?

What is Complex Regional Pain Syndrome?

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome or CRPS is a chronic pain condition that affects the limbs (arms, legs, hands or feet) usually after an injury or trauma to that area. It is believed to be caused by damage to, or malfunction of, the peripheral and central nervous systems. The central nervous system is made up of the brain and spinal cord, and the peripheral nervous system involves nerve signaling from the brain and spinal cord to the rest of the body. CRPS is characterized by prolonged or excessive pain and mild or dramatic changes in skin color, temperature, and/or swelling in the affected areas.

There are two similar forms, called CRPS-I and CRPS-II, with generally the same symptoms and treatments. CRPS-II (previously referred to as causalgia) is the term used for patients with confirmed nerve injuries. Individuals without confirmed nerve injuries are classified as having CRPS-I (previously called reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome). Some research has identified evidence of nerve injury in CRPS-I, so the validity of the two different forms is being investigated.

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Higher amputation, mortality rates seen in diabetic foot syndrome

German researchers found that diabetic foot syndrome patients had the highest amputation rate and length of hospital stay and costs, as well as the lowest cumulative four-year survival and amputation-free survival, compared with those with diabetes and peripheral artery disease or PAD alone. The findings in the Journal of Diabetes and Its Complications, based on data from 40,335 patients hospitalized between 2009 and 2011, found diabetic foot syndrome patients had the lowest revascularization rate.

DVT Awareness Month

March Is DVT Awareness Month!

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) is often an underdiagnosed and serious, but preventable medical condition.

DVT occurs when a blood clot forms in a deep vein. These clots usually develop in the lower leg, thigh, or pelvis, but they can also occur in the arm. Another type of blood clot, called Pulmonary Embolism (PE), can form when part of a blood clot breaks off and travels to the lungs.

It is important to know about DVT and PE because they can happen to anybody and can cause serious illness, disability, and in some cases, death. The good news is that blood clots are preventable and treatable if discovered early.

You can take steps to improve your health and prevent DVT's & PE's. Some simple steps include regular exercise, eating healthy, and wearing compression garments.

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