(4) Autoamputation. In the last stage of deep frostbite, massive tissue
death (including the death of bone tissue) occurs and the affected body part may
separate from the rest of the body.
5-10. TREAT FROSTBITE
a. Seek Shelter. A person with frostbite should be moved to the most sheltered
b. Remove Jewelry. Remove any jewelry on the affected limb and put the
jewelry in the casualty's pocket. If the limb swells, the jewelry may interfere with blood
c. Loosen Clothing. Loosen or remove constricting clothing which may
interfere with blood circulation.
d. Rewarm Affected Body Part. Gradually rewarm the affected body part. If
possible, rewarm the part by exposing it to warm air. If warm air from a heated source
is not available, rewarm the affected area using the same procedures given for chilblain
in paragraph 5-4a. Covering the affected limb with dry, loose clothing or with several
layers of warm coverings is also acceptable.
Do not apply ice or snow to the affected area.
Do not rub or soak the frostbite area.
(3) Do not expose the frostbitten area to a very hot heat source, such as a
roaring fire. The casualty cannot judge heat and the affected part may suffer burns.
(4) Do not thaw frozen feet if the casualty will need to walk any further to
receive medical treatment. Thawing the casualty's feet and then forcing him to walk on
them will cause additional pain and injury. If the feet refreeze, the refrozen tissue will
receive additional injury.
(5) Do not give the casualty alcoholic beverages or tobacco since these
items promote the loss of body heat.
e. Protect Affected Body Part. Protect the affected body part from the cold
and additional trauma. Cover the casualty with warm, dry clothing. Dress the casualty
in dry socks and boots once his feet have been warmed. Ensure that the re-warmed
body part does not refreeze.
f. Reassure the Casualty. Reassure the casualty that you are taking care of