What is the role of lab testing in the diagnosis of frostbite?

Updated: Jul 29, 2019
  • Author: Bobak Zonnoor , MD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Answer

Frostbite is a clinical diagnosis. Although laboratory studies are not important in the initial diagnosis and management of frostbite, they may be helpful in identifying delayed systemic complications, such as wound infection with sepsis or complications of underlying hypothermia.

Baseline laboratory studies to consider include complete blood count (CBC), electrolytes, blood urea nitrogen (BUN), creatine, glucose level, and liver function tests. Urinalysis may be used to detect evidence of myoglobinuria. Obtain Gram stains and cultures from suspected frostbite wound infections.


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