Board Review: Winter Emergencies

During your overnight shift, a homeless patient presents to the Emergency Department with hand pain. It is below freezing outside tonight. Tissue rewarming has begun, and below is what you see on exam. What degree of frostbite does this patient most likely have?



A. First-Degree

B. Second-Degree

C. Third-Degree

D. Fourth-Degree


















Answer: C. This patient’s hemorrhagic blisters and blue-grey skin discoloration are concerning for third-degree hypothermia. Prognosis at this stage is poor.