BMJ Case Reports 2017; doi:10.1136/bcr-2017-219672
  • Reminder of important clinical lesson

Successful conservative treatment of severe frostbite lesions in a Greenlandic Inuit

  1. Luit Penninga
  1. Ilulissat Hospital, Ilulissat, Greenland
  1. Correspondence to Dr Luit Penninga, Luitpenninga{at}
  • Accepted 30 May 2017
  • Published 19 June 2017


Frostbite may cause lesions. The severity ranges from superficial wounds to severe cases with loss of limbs and tissue. Hence, proper treatment is of utmost importance. We present a case of an 18-year-old man from Arctic Greenland who was admitted with severe frostbite lesions involving both hands. The patient had fallen asleep outside during extreme temperatures. He was treated conservatively with proper wound care, antibiotics and intensive physical therapy. The patient made a full recovery without sequelae. The current report emphasises that non-operative treatment should be attempted for frostbite lesions, as conservative treatment often results in good outcomes.


  • Contributors All authors contributed to the manuscript according to the Vancouver criteria. MKWE and LP had the idea. MKWE collected information and prepared the manuscript. LP revised the manuscript. All authors approved the final version of the manuscript.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

Register for free content

The full text of all Editor's Choice articles and summaries of every article are free without registration

The full text of Images in ... articles are free to registered users

Only fellows can access the full text of case reports (apart from Editor's Choice) - become a fellow today, or encourage your institution to, so that together we can grow and develop this resource

Don't forget to sign up for content alerts so you keep up to date with all the case reports as they are published, and let us know what you think by commenting on the Editor's blog

Navigate This Article