Podcast 778: tPA for Frostbite Injury - The Emergency Medical Minute

Podcast 778: tPA for Frostbite Injury

Contributor: Peter Bakes, MD

Educational Pearls:

  • Mild frostbite injury usually only requires supportive care
  • In severe frostbite injury, patients should receive an immediate angiogram, be admitted, and receive tPA if there is evidence of vascular occlusion
  • Salvage rate is around 80% for appropriate patients who receive tPA in phalangeal frostbite injury


Paine RE, Turner EN, Kloda D, Falank C, Chung B, Carter DW. Protocoled thrombolytic therapy for frostbite improves phalangeal salvage rates. Burns Trauma. 2020;8:tkaa008. Published 2020 Apr 10. doi:10.1093/burnst/tkaa008

Basit H, Wallen TJ, Dudley C. Frostbite. In: StatPearls. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; November 5, 2021.

Wexler A, Zavala S. The Use of Thrombolytic Therapy in the Treatment of Frostbite Injury. J Burn Care Res. 2017;38(5):e877-e881. doi:10.1097/BCR.0000000000000512

Summarized by John Spartz, MS4 | Edited by Erik Verzemnieks, MD


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