WHITEHORSE — A doctor in Yukon says a new way to treat frostbite is turning Whitehorse General Hospital into a leading treatment centre for the injury.
Surgeon Alex Poole uses the traditional rewarming treatment on frostbite cases but he and pharmacist Josianne Gauthier are also administering a drug that they say can reduce the risk of long-term tissue damage and amputation.
Poole says Whitehorse General is the only hospital in Canada with permission to treat frostbite with iloprost.
The drug is usually prescribed to open up constricted arteries and veins around the lungs.
Poole says iloprost expands blood vessels to carry more warm blood to frostbitten tissue where clots hamper circulation, slowing potential recovery.
Since beginning the treatment, Poole says he has not had to amputate any frostbitten limbs and the next step is to share the research with doctors across the country. (CKRW)
The Canadian Press