The signs and symptoms of non-freezing cold injury are numbness, pins and needles, and pain on rewarming in the individual’s hands and feet. The pain can last for an extended period and after the first contraction of non-freezing cold injury, there is an increased sensitivity to the cold.
Non-freezing cold injuries can vary in sensitivity but the injured individual should be protected from the cold or risk making the symptoms worse.
What is the MOD’s responsibility?
The military must protect service personnel from sustaining cold injuries by ensuring that exercise is carried out safely and at appropriate temperatures, by providing adequate clothing and training, and evacuating when symptoms are reported. In my significant experience of dealing with non-freezing cold injuries, these duties are not always met.
What are the long-term consequences of a non-freezing cold injury?
The symptoms of non-freezing cold injury will often be permanent as the individual will always be sensitive to the cold temperatures, and at significant risk of further cold injuries if exposed to cold conditions. The individual should be protected from the cold, which makes continued service in the military very unlikely.
What to do if you have a non-freezing cold injury
If you have or believe you have a cold injury, then I would suggest you take the following actions: