Coffee, tea, or frostbite? A case report of inflight freezing hazard from dry ice

Aviat Space Environ Med. 1996 Sep;67(9):880-1.


Occupational and recreational cold exposure is fairly well described in the literature. This is a case report of a passenger on a commercial airline flight who suffered third degree frostbile due to the attempted therapeutic use of a cold pack. This cold pack was offered by the flight attendant and consisted of a section of dry ice used for cooling in the galley. The resulting injury consisted of a full thickness cold injury of the left lumbar amounting to approximately 1.5% TBSA (total body surface area). The occurrence of third degree frostbite due to a medicinally used ice pack such as this has not been noted in the past writings. The resulting injury, care and outcome of such an injury are described and discussed.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aerospace Medicine*
  • Back Pain / therapy*
  • Dry Ice / adverse effects*
  • Frostbite / etiology*
  • Frostbite / pathology
  • Frostbite / therapy
  • Humans
  • Male


  • Dry Ice