Treating frostbite

Pediatrician Alan Nagar, MD, MHA, Emergency Medicine, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, shares advice for parents on how to treat your child's frostbite
Pediatric First Aid - How To Treat Frostbite In Children
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Treating frostbite

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Frostbite has a significant spectrum of severity. Although people sometimes use the word "frostbite" when the finger, the digit, the hand, is cold, the true definition of frostbite is when there is a lack of vessel supply to that portion affected. The fingertip, for example, may turn white, there may be lack of sensation. So in that circumstance, the best thing for a parent to do is gently re-warm that portion that's effected. Literally filling up a sink with warm to hot water, of course not enough to burn the child, and then placing the hand and soaking for a period of time depending on the severity of the frostbite. Other kinds of frostbite can be treated in the hospital. But as a first aid measure for parents, soaking it in warm water, wrapping the hand and literally trying to thaw out the affected part is the best thing to do.

Pediatrician Alan Nagar, MD, MHA, Emergency Medicine, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, shares advice for parents on how to treat your child's frostbite

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Alan Nager, MD, MHA

Pediatrician, Emergency Medicine, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

Dr. Alan Nager is Head of the Division of Emergency and Transport Medicine at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. He is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California. Dr. Nager received his undergraduate degree in Public Heath and Child Psychology, his graduate degree in Healthcare Administration, his medical degree from the University of Minnesota Medical School and his training in Pediatric Emergency Medicine at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.  He has lectured extensively on a variety of emergency medicine topics, appeared numerous times in the media, and published extensively on topics such as dehydration, trauma, mental health, disaster preparedness, etc. He has also authored a children’s book entitled, Angels in Action: One Day in the Emergency Department.

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