Cold Water Immersion Foot Syndromes Trench Foot

The immersion foot syndromes are a group of skin effects of moisture or immersion that typically involve the lower extremity. Trench foot, so called from military experience in trench warfare, is the result of wet and cold conditions without immersion typically over a period of days. Patients present with pain, numbness, and paresthesia, and the condition can become severe, lasting for weeks to months. Various pathological change occur, including thrombosis and capillary rupture. Treatment includes removal from wet conditions, dry clothing, elevation of feet, and rewarming. Antibiotics are often given (42).

Immersion foot typically occurs with cold water immersion for hours to a day, as in working in bogs without appropriate rubber boots. Symptoms and treatment are as for trench foot (42).

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