(3) Keep hands well protected; mittens are more protective than gloves.
Avoid lengthy exposure of bare hands and wrists that will cause stiffening and reduce
circulation, since it takes a long time to recondition the hands to normal use. DO NOT
TOUCH METAL, SNOW, OR OTHER COLD OBJECTS WITH BARE HANDS. DO NOT
SPILL GASOLINE ON SKIN OR CLOTHING.
(4) To generate and maintain body heat, have soldiers perform activities
which involve the body's large muscle groups of the shoulders, trunk and legs. If such
activity is not possible, soldiers can change body position, move toes, feet, legs, fingers,
arms, and hands. Isometric contractions can be done. Also, some delay in heat loss
can be accomplished by sitting or standing on insulating material such as wood,
cardboard, or other poor conductors rather than on cold or wet ground or snow.
(5) Remove excess clothing when in a warm enclosure or in front of a fire to
avoid sweating and undue dilation of skin blood vessels.
Section II. NONFREEZING COLD INJURIES
a. Definition/Characteristics. Chilblains are an inflammation of the hands and
feet caused by exposure to cold and moisture. This is the only cold injury which is not
of military importance.
b. Causes. Chilblains result from intermittent exposure to cold temperatures
above freezing, accompanied by high humidity.
c. Signs/Symptoms. Chilblains are characterized by skin (usually on the
hands, feet, or ears) that is red, swollen, itching, tingling, tender, and hot to the touch.
Later there may be a deep-seated ache. The affected body part; for example, a finger,
may swell to 15 percent more than its normal size. Continued exposure results in sores
(lesions) on the surface of the skin. These sores may bleed and become ulcerative
(inflamed open sores) in which the skin dies and is sloughed off.
d. Physiological Action. During exposure to the cold, the small blood vessels
in the skin of the extremities and then in the large arteries constrict. Later, the smallest
blood vessels dilate.
e. Treatment. Warm the patient and the affected part. Acute inflammatory
reaction in the extremities subsides within a few hours after exposure.