Environmental Emergencies: Cold-Weather Related Health Conditions


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About the Course

Cold weather presents its own unique challenges. Patients may develop frostbite and hypothermia, which can be life-threatening. With proper preparation and preventive techniques, some cold weather-related health issues can be prevented. When these conditions do occur, nurses must recognize these conditions and be prepared to initiate appropriate treatment interventions.  

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the course, the learner will be able to:  

  • Differentiate between managing mild hypothermia and severe hypothermia by recognizing the variations in pathophysiology, clinical presentation, and appropriate interventions for each stage of hypothermia.  
  • Compare the signs and symptoms of mild, moderate, and severe frostbite to differentiate between each stage. 
  • Differentiate between trench foot and other cold-related injuries by analyzing the pathophysiology, clinical presentation, and appropriate interventions for trench foot.  
  • Analyze strategies for preventing cold-related injuries, including assessing environmental and personal risk factors that contribute to the development of these injuries.  
  • Analyze the pathophysiology, clinical presentation, and appropriate interventions for freezing and non-freezing cold injuries to differentiate between the two injury types.

About the Author

Dr. Karen Scaglione, DNP, APRN, AGACNP-BC, ACNP-BC, CLNC, is an assistant teaching professor at Saint Louis University Trudy Busch Valentine School of Nursing, teaching in the Adult Geriatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner program as well as the doctoral program. Dr. Scaglione currently practices in critical care and hospitalist medicine. Dr. Scaglione is involved with many committees locally and nationally, currently sitting on the Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner content expert panel for the American Nurses Credentialing Center in Washington, D.C. Dr. Scaglione was honored in 2019 as the March of Dimes NP of the year from Missouri and Illinois. Her doctoral dissertation was the creation of an AGACNP emergency room/critical fellowship for the Veterans Healthcare Administration. Dr. Scaglione has published in the Journal of Doctoral Nursing Practice. She is the international bestselling coauthor of Owning Your Own G.R.I.T and the author of the anthology compilation Rising with Resilience.  

How to Receive Credit  

  • Read the entire course online or in print which requires a 1.5-hour commitment of time. 
  • At the end of the course, answer the Yes/No Affirmation question to indicate that you have completed the educational activity.
  • Specific to Florida: A mandatory Final Examination with a passing score of 75% or higher is required. Exam questions link content to the course Learning Outcomes as a method to enhance individualized learning and material retention.
  • Provide required personal and payment information.
  • Complete the mandatory course evaluation.
  • Print your Certificate of Completion.

Resolution of Conflict of Interest

Planners, faculty, and others in control of content (either individually or as a group) have no relevant financial relationships with ineligible companies.

Sponsorship/Commercial Support and Non-Endorsement

It is the policy of Colibri Healthcare, LLC not to accept support from ineligible companies. Furthermore, ineligible companies are prohibited from distributing or providing access to this activity to learners.


The information provided in this activity is for continuing education purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the independent medical judgment of a healthcare provider relative to diagnostic and treatment options of a specific patient’s medical condition.  

©2023: All Rights Reserved. Materials may not be reproduced without the expressed written permission or consent of Colibri Healthcare, LLC. The materials presented in this course are meant to provide the consumer with general information on the topics covered. The information provided was prepared by professionals with practical knowledge of the areas covered. It is not meant to provide medical, legal, or professional advice. Colibri Healthcare, LLC recommends that you consult a medical, legal, or professional services expert licensed in your state. Colibri Healthcare, LLC has made all reasonable efforts to ensure that all content provided in this course is accurate and up to date at the time of printing but does not represent or warrant that it will apply to your situation nor circumstances and assumes no liability from reliance on these materials. Quotes are collected from customer feedback surveys. The models are intended to be representative and not actual customers.  

Accreditations and Approvals

Colibri Healthcare, LLC is accredited as a provider of nursing continuing professional development by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation.