William Calton Survives Mt. Everest Climbing Accident with Severe Frostbitten Toes

It was a climb William Calton, thought he would be able reach; the top of the 29,035 foot Mount Everest. Instead, Calton found himself waking up 15 feet from the trail leading down the mountain. His cord had been cut, which was keeping him on track. His gloves and camera went missing. "I have no hard feelings. It's survival of the fittest out there," Calton said. "But some wild things started happening up there." According to doctors, Calton experienced high altitude cerebral edema, causing him to fade in and out of consciousness. He suffered a concussion, two broken ribs, collapsed lung and frost bitten toes.  

Calton was determined to make it to the top when he noticed he was one of 200 climbers to make the summit of the 29,035-foot mountain on May 19. "After all this time and all this money, do you turn around for some cold toes?" said Colton.  With the care of a podiatrist like Dr. Bryant Tarr of Sudbury & Westford Podiatry, Dr. Tarr will examine your feet and consider an appropriate treatment option for you.  

Frostbite of the Feet

Frostbite is a condition that occurs when the tissues in the body freeze due to exposure to cold temperatures. Frostbite often happens as the result of hypothermia. When the body is exposed to very cold temperatures for an extended period of time, the blood vessels begin to constrict. Constricted blood vessels mean decreased blood flow to the area, which in turn causes frostbite.

The Effects of Frostbite
The symptoms of frostbite include tingling, swelling, itching and numbness in the affected areas. Frostbite mostly occurs in the extremities such as the ears, toes and fingers. In extreme cases, amputation is performed, but fortunately this is rare since frostbite can be treated.

Treating Frostbite
-The first step would be to seek help immediately, the chances of saving your foot increase the faster you get medical treatment.
-It is important to keep warm, frostbite is the result of hypothermia and it is important to seek a dry and warm environment.
-Cold or wet clothes should be changed because it can cause the blood vessels to constrict.

Prevention Methods
If you are aware that you will be in a cold weather area for an extended period of time, it is essential to dress appropriately for it. Keeping yourself well-hydrated and wearing layers of clothing can help keep you warm and safe from frostbite. If you are a diabetic, it is important to be extra careful because of issues with peripheral circulation. As long as proper precautions are taken, frostbite can be avoided.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices in Sudbury and Westford, MA.  We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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