Gloves/Hats for Frostbite Victims
During our surgery rotation we were shocked at the frequency of frostbite in Buffalo and other cold climates! We were seeing easily a case per day or more during the winter, and many of these required amputations of the dead frostbitten tissue!
Our most memorable case was a homeless man who was shoveling snow without gloves to earn some money. His case was so severe that he unfortunately had to have all 10 of his fingers amputated. He was a humble and sweet man and was so grateful for this treatment, as it ultimately saved his life (necrotic tissue must be removed to avoid infection and sepsis).
I asked this man, while he was eating lunch post-op using special utensils designed for amputees, if he owned a hat or gloves, and he didn't. These simple items could have easily prevented all of this. This was one of my most emotionally moving patient experiences.
We were shocked that frostbite is not only very common in cold climates, but very preventable! So, we started Prescription4Warmth , a charity that collects money to purchase new hats, gloves, and socks from wholesale destributers for frostbite victims and homeless in Buffalo, and packages them with frostbite informational printouts.
We currently serve Erie County Medical Center, Lighthouse Free Clinic, and UBHEALS mobile clinic. We have provided over 600 packages of warm items to the Buffalo area, and have been featured recently in the Buffalo News, Channel 2, Channel 7, and Campus News.
With support and partnership with our university chapter of Gold Humanism Honor Society, we hope to continue to supply these items yearly, and also hopefully expand beyond Buffalo and into other underserved and frigid areas!
We, and these frostbite victims, thank you so much for your generous donations. Thank you for treating and preventing frostbite and life-altering amputations!
Steve and Chelsey,
The Prescription4Warmth Team
Keep the donations coming everybody. Don't forget, this is Compassionate Care week! Thank you!