What is the role of pressure or occlusive dressings in the treatment of frostbite?

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

Pressure dressings, occlusive dressings, and elastic wraps will decrease tissue perfusion and increase the risk of tissue loss. The presence of a concomitant injury with active bleeding requires direct pressure over the bleeding site, but caregivers should be aware that such actions are performed as life-saving measures and can result in increased morbidity.

In a report of a single patient treated with vacuum-assisted closure (VAC) therapy, Poulakidas et al described improved tissue salvage and early reepithelialization, suggesting that VAC may be of some benefit in the management of frostbite-induced tissue damage. [52]


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