Training videos to prevent cold weather injuries
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Cold weather injuries (CWIs) are a challenge during military training, exercises and operations in Arctic conditions. Soldier performance in these challenging conditions depends on protective equipment, knowledge, personal experience, routines, and leadership. Despite the Norwegian Armed Forces’ goal of zero freezing cold injuries (FCIs), there has been a persistently high incidence of FCIs among the younger soldiers with an average of 120–150 new FCIs recorded each year. Therefore, an expert working group with representatives from medical, defence and research background was established in 2020. Their task was to develop a communication package to help prevent CWIs among military personnel. Training videos and an updated and improved official website were created with a focus on practical recommendations and advice to prevent CWIs and especially FCIs. Risks, prevention and symptoms of FCIs were emphasised. The main goal of the training videos was to supplement current teaching on guidance for CWI prevention in CWOs to prevent FCIs, but following the advice may prevent non-freezing cold injuries (NFCIs) and hypothermia. This informative paper describes the background, working methods and possible implications of the training videos, which may be a potential way forward to improve cold weather training and operations.
International Journal of Circumpolar Health 2023 ;Volum 82.(1)