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Edmonton’s Burn Awareness Week focuses on dangers of frostbite

By Admin User on February 26, 2020

Edmonton Fire Rescue Services and the Edmonton Firefighters’ Burn Treatment Society (EFBTS) hosted Burn Awareness Week from February 2 to 8. The goal was to show Edmontonians the dangers of extreme temperatures- both hot and cold. Frostbite was a major talking point throughout the week.

“Any thermal injury, chemical injury, will have an effect on the skin. They’re exactly the same type of injury, it’s just how we recover from it and treat it,” said Ian McKee, director at EFBTS.

Deeanna Cowan, a frostbite burn survivor, showed off her scar from her encounter with frostbite.

Deeanna Cowan displayed her frostbite scar during Burn Awareness Week.

At age seven, Cowan went snowmobiling with her family and unknowingly got frostbite on an exposed part of her leg. She woke up the next morning with a severe blister. Cowan went to the University of Alberta Hospital, where the burn unit treated her.

“I was getting no circulation in my foot, and there was that possibility that if it didn’t drain and they couldn’t figure out what it was, it could’ve been amputated,” said Cowan.

Images of Cowan’s frostbite in her scrapbook, documenting her burn recovery.

According to Dr. Peter Kwan, a paediatric and adult burn surgeon at the U of A Hospital, the number of frostbite cases has increased this year from last. There have been 17 cases this year, an increase from 15 last year.

“I think because it’s been a lot colder a lot sooner, we’re seeing people who weren’t expecting to run into those sorts of conditions,” Kwan said.

In addition to raising awareness for burn prevention, the EFBTS is also accepting donations. Part of these donations will go towards the U of A Hospital’s burn unit.



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