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Monday, December 27, 2010

Immersion Foot Syndromes

Immersion Foot

Immersion foot syndromes include:

Trench foot
Warm water immersion foot
Tropical immersion foot (Paddy foot)

Trench Foot:

Trench Foot is a medical condition caused by prolonged exposure of the feet to damp, unsanitary and cold conditions. It is one of many immersion foot syndromes. The use of the word "trench" in the name of this condition is a reference to trench warfare, mainly associated with World War I.

Infected feet may become numb, affected by erythrosis (turning red) or cyanosis (turning blue) as a result of poor vascular supply, and feet may begin to have a decaying odor due to the possibility of the early stages of necrosis setting in. As the condition worsens, feet may also begin to swell. Advanced trench foot often involves blisters and open sores, which lead to fungal infections; this is sometimes called tropical ulcer (jungle rot).

If left untreated, trench foot usually results in gangrene, which can cause the need for amputation. If trench foot is treated properly, complete recovery is normal, though it is marked by severe short-term pain when feeling returns. As with other cold-related injuries, trench foot leaves sufferers more susceptible to it in the future.

Prevention:

Trench foot is easily prevented by keeping the feet warm and dry, and changing socks frequently when the feet cannot be kept dry.

Warm water immersion foot:

Warm water immersion foot is a skin condition of the feet that results after exposure to warm, wet conditions for 48 hours or more, and is characterized by maceration, blanching, and wrinkling of the soles and sides of the feet.

Prevention:

Warm Water Immersion foot is easily prevented by keeping the feet warm and dry, and changing socks frequently when the feet cannot be kept dry.

Tropical immersion foot:

Tropical immersion foot (also known as "Paddy foot" and "Paddy-field foot") is a skin condition of the feet seen after continuous immersion of the feet in water or mud of temperature above 22 degrees Celsius for two to ten days.

Prevention:

Tropical Immersion foot is easily prevented by keeping the feet warm and dry, and changing socks frequently when the feet cannot be kept dry. Don't keep feet in wet conditions for prolonged periods.

(above source: Wikipedia)

Immersion injuries-  Skin becomes wrinkled as in dishpan hands.

(a) Avoid walking on affected feet.
(b) Pat dry; DO NOT rub. Skin tissue will be sensitive.
(c) Dry socks and shoes. Keep feet protected.
(d) Loosen boots, cuffs, etc., to improve circulation.
(e) Keep area dry, warm, and open to air.
(f) DO NOT apply creams or ointments.

Saltwater sores-

(a) Change body positions frequently.
(b) Keep sores dry.
(c) Use antiseptic (if available).
(d) DO NOT open or squeeze sores.

Stay Prepared! Stay Alive!

Charlie

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