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Freezing cold injuries (FCI)

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

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Freezing cold injuries

Freezing cold injury (FCI) is described as tissue damage caused by temperatures below their freezing point (1).

  • there is true tissue freezing caused by heat loss sufficient to cause ice crystal formation in superficial or deep tissues
  • it is a well document condition in the military and in countries with extreme cold weather
  • less common than non freezing injuries, but is associated with severe complications (1,2)

FCI can present as:

  • frostnip
  • frostbite (1)


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