Non-Freezing cold injuries (NFCI) is a condition caused by body tissue being subjected to prolonged cooling temperatures which are above freezing. There are two types of NFCI’s, chilblains and trench foot.
NFCI is commonly associated with soldiers who often develop this injury through training or deployment. There has been considerable litigation in the UK by serving military personnel there who have contracted NFCI while on duty.
NFCI is triggered by repeated exposure to cold or wet environments for a significant length of time. The effective areas often become inflamed and swelling of the skin may occur. In addition to the visible changes individuals may also experience a burning and painful sensation to the affected area once they enter to warmer conditions.
Chilblains can occur after the skin has been exposed to cold or wet conditions for short periods. The most commonly affected areas for chilblains are the fingers, the ears and face. Trench foot is a more serious condition and may occur when a soldier has been exposed to cold or wet conditions for a period of three to twelve hours or more. The longer the period of exposure, the more severe the injury is likely to be. In addition to cold and wet conditions, damp footwear or footwear that is too tight can increase the severity of trench foot.
Due to the direct link between NFCI and wet and cold conditions, it is recognised that those susceptible to NFCI include military or ex-military personnel. The reason for this is that soldiers frequently spend many hours outdoors in the kind of cold and wet conditions which can easily lead to NFCI.
If you suffer from or have been diagnosed with NFCI and are a serving or ex member of the Irish Defence Forces, you may wish to seek legal advice in relation to a potential claim for personal injury. NFCI is a condition that can often be easily prevented but the long-term consequences for someone with NFCI can be severe.
If you believe you have been affected by NFCI you should consider speaking with Liam Moloney our specialist personal injury solicitor who can advise you on your legal rights.
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