Warm water immersion foot: still a threat to the soldier

Mil Med. 1997 Sep;162(9):610-1.


We report a significant incidence of warm water immersion foot (WWIF) in a light infantry battalion during a field exercise. Four hundred soldiers belonging to this battalion were surveyed to determine the prevalence of the WWIF syndrome. One hundred forty-nine soldiers surveyed developed the WWIF syndrome. The affected soldiers had a wide range of disability, ranging from mild discomfort to the inability to ambulate. All soldiers had full recovery within 2 weeks of the injuries. Although the syndrome is self-limited, the loss of these soldiers from combat critically impaired the battalion in its mission. We present this report as a reminder that effective preventive measures should be taken prior to field exercises and deployments.

MeSH terms

  • Hawaii / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Immersion Foot / epidemiology*
  • Immersion Foot / prevention & control
  • Military Personnel*
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Occupational Diseases / prevention & control
  • Prevalence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Severity of Illness Index