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Risk factors for cold injury

Discussion in 'General Issues and Discussion Forum' started by NewsBot, Feb 20, 2008.

  1. NewsBot

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    Military cold injury during the war in the Falkland Islands 1982: an evaluation of possible risk factors.
    Craig RP.
    J R Army Med Corps. 2007;153 Suppl 1:63-8;
     
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  3. Cameron

    Cameron Well-Known Member

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    There is a long recorded history of Trench Foot from the Napoleonic Wars onwards and we can assume it existed before this time. Prolonged exposure to cold and damp has been cited as the exciting factors and it would seem logical to consider internal predispositions as a qualifying factor. Experiences of the First and Second World War combatants living through these conditions would support Trenchfoot was in epidemic proportions. The atrocious conditions in the 14-18 trenches would certainly claim many victims who were incapable of keeping their feet warm and dry but statistics also show more Allied forces suffered casualties in the Second World War (European Theatre) from Trench Foot than from German machine gun fire. Many soldiers aware of the dangers would deliberately expose their feet to the elements and this situation became so critical the US military dealt with proven cases of deliberate incapacitation as cowardice in the field and some were even shot. In Asia Immersion Foot was a similar condition which arose after prolonged exposure to warm and wet conditions.

    In more recent times the ever changing theatre of war has put tremendous pressure on Governments to provide suitable footwear for their soldiers. The resurgence of Trench Foot was reported in the Falklands War and many Argentinean personnel were killed maimed or captured because the UK troops wanted to take their boots which were of superior quality to the UK issue.

    More recently claims that insufficient supplies of adequate footwear have seriously handicapped the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. The hotspots of Iraq and Afghanistan have necessitated developments in military footwear which can cope with the territory as well as challenges in making sure the fighting force have the appropriate supplies for combat. Having comfortable feet is a priority for the modern soldier with comfort, robustness plus the capability of dealing with temperature extremes and ground conditions all paramount. Military boots need to weather temperatures as high as 50C by day and often below 0, at night and on manovers, troops have often to cross sand and mountainous terrain. Boots need to give support a fully kitted soldier as well as withstand the rigours of conditions ranging from sandy desert to stony ground. During a series of trials conducted in Iraq, Afghanistan and Cyprus, on behalf of the Ministry of Defence (MoD) the German Meindl (general issue) and the US Lowa heavy-duty desert boots (in combat roles) came tops. In a very sensible move non combatant serving personnel will be issued with light weight patrol boots based on these styles and women soldiers will be issued with specialist female footwear appropriate to their role. In addition, troops involved in winter tours of Iraq and Afghanistan will be offered two different types of specialist boots for the cold weather. The latest Prabos footwear (Czech) is available for anyone unable to wear the standard issue Iturri product. Both boots have insulation to protect against extreme conditions.

    toeslayer
     
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