Nonfreezing cold injuries among long-distance polar rowers
journal contributionposted on 22.04.2020, 10:40 authored by Daniel LongmanDaniel Longman, Emily L Brown, Christopher HE Imray
Nonfreezing cold injury (NFCI) is a peripheral cold injury that occurs when the extremities are exposed to cold temperatures, at or near the freezing point, for sustained periods of time (48–96 h at temperatures of usually around 0 to 6°C with associated wind chill). Although NFCI often goes unreported and may be underdiagnosed, it is a cause of significant morbidity in those working in cold conditions, particularly those in the military. Thus, further research into the prevention, recognition, and treatment of NFCI is warranted.
The height, body weight, and body composition of 6 rowers taking part in 1 or 2 legs of the 2017 Polar Row expedition were measured. The weather conditions of the 2 legs of the journey were recorded, and symptoms relating to NFCI were documented.
All incidences of NFCI occurred during Leg 2 of the expedition, which was colder and wetter. Of the Leg 2 rowers, those who developed NFCI had a trend toward higher pre-row body weight and body mass index and a trends toward losing more weight and body water relative to those who did not.
The main factor contributing to the incidence of NFCI appeared to be weather; NFCI only occurred during the colder and wetter leg of the expedition. We also tentatively suggest that nutrition and dehydration may be linked to the incidence of NFCI as predisposing factors. More work, with sample sizes greater than those reported here, is required to investigate these associations to further characterize risk factors.
- Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences