A Young Girl Visiting Canada Learned a Valuable Lesson After THIS Awful Accident
Winter is almost over, but for people living in more northern areas, the dangers of cold weather still exist. One young woman from Australia sadly learned this the hard way after she took a trip to Canada. Emma Quirk was visiting Canada with some friends when she had an unfortunate accident after passing out after drinking too much outside in the middle of the night.
At first, the night that Emma had her accident started out like a fun evening. She went to a bar with some friends and stayed out until late at night. However, Emma had a bit too much to drink, and she ended up wandering off by herself. After she stepped outside of the bar to smoke a cigarette around 2:30 A.M, Emma’s friends did not see her again for the entire night. She had no money and no cell phone, and Emma was completely lost. She ended up passing out outside of a nursing home, where she was found at about 5:30 A.M.
The next thing Emma remembered was waking up at a hospital with severe frostbite on her hands. The nurse told her that she was lucky to still have her hands after spending three hours wandering around outside in the -30 degree Celsius weather. Though she ended up with third-degree frostbite, Emma was able to recover, and she documented each step of her recovery through photographs that make the dangers of frostbite evident.
In the first picture of her hands, Emma’s fingers look mostly normal, though they are a dark bluish, purplish shade.
However, by the time of the next picture, Emma’s fingers had quickly started to swell up as the damage from the frostbite becomes more prominent.
All of her fingers show some evidence of blistering due to the frostbite, but the damage is worse on her pinky, ring, and middle finger of her left hand and her pinky and ring finger of her right hand. These fingers are covered in blisters that are several inches long.
The blisters continued to grow, and Emma’s fingers were completely encapsulated within blisters filled with yellow pus.
Eventually, Emma managed to visit a frostbite specialist who was able to deflate the blisters, leaving the skin underneath looking wrinkled and reddish.
Though Emma’s hands still look rough in the last picture, the specialist says that there will be minimal scarring after the fingers are completely healed.
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Though the pictures of Emma’s fingers look gruesome, this young woman was actually extremely lucky. If Emma had stayed outdoors in the cold much longer, her fingers could have been so badly damaged that they would have needed to be amputated. When the body is in extremely cold temperatures, blood flow to the fingers, toes, ears, nose, hands, and feet are restricted because the body is trying to use this blood to keep vital organs warm. Without adequate blood flow, ice crystals develop within the skin, and the tissue begins to die. In some cases, people end up losing the areas of their body that are affected by frostbite.
In the first stage of frostbite, skin looks reddish and feels pale, prickly, or numb. Though it hurts when skin is rewarmed, there is no permanent damage to the skin. In the second stage of frostbite, the top layer of skin begins to freeze, and it looks pale. After being rewarmed, small amounts of skin may hurt, swell, blister, or fall off, but no permanent damage occurs. In the third stage of frostbite, which is the type of frostbite that affected Emma, the deeper layers of the skin are also frozen. When rewarmed, huge blisters develop because the skin is so damaged. There is permanent tissue damage, but the underlying muscles and joints are not destroyed. In the most severe stages of frostbite, the affected areas are frozen completely solid. When rewarmed, the area becomes hardened and blackened, and amputation is often required because the dead tissue may become infected and spread gangrene throughout the body.
Though Emma did not end up losing her fingers to frostbite, countless other people are not so fortunate. Since tissue damage cannot be avoided in the later stages of frostbite, it is absolutely essential to prevent frostbite before it occurs. If possible, avoiding being outside in cold and wet weather is the best way to avoid frostbite. However, if you must be outdoors, wear several layers of warm, loose clothing. Thick socks, warm gloves, and a windproof hat can all protect the areas of the body most sensitive to frostbite. Drinking alcohol in cold weather is ill-advised because alcohol makes a person less likely to notice frostbite. Watch out for warning signs of the first stage of frostbite, and immediately seek warmth if you notice reddened skin, numbness, or prickling feelings. By following these steps, you can avoid ending up with severe damage because of frostbite.