news from the BBC that explorer Ranulph Feinnes has been forced to pull out of the 'coldest journey trek' across Antarctica after suffering severe frostbite during training. " />

Frostbitten Fiennes ends latest record attempt

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Reports say that he used his bare hands to change a ski binding in near whiteout conditions.  Described as the 'Worlds Greatest Living Explorer' by Guinness World Records Fiennes and his team mates planned to walk across a frozen Antarctica in Winter, a feat no human has ever managed before.

The remaining five aim to set off on the 2000 mile trek in late March during which they will experience 6 months of near total darkness and temperatures close to -90C - probably the harshest conditions known to man.

Frostbite is caused by the bodies exposure to freezing conditions and it most commonly affects the extremities; ears, nose, fingers and toes.When faced with such low temperatures the body diverts blood flow from the extremities to vital organs such as the heart and lungs.  The extremities get colder and fluid in the tissues begin to freeze.  You initially feel pins and needles and painful throbbing (known as frostnip).  As the tissues get colder ice crystals form within and this loss of blood flow starves the tissues of oxygen which then dies and amputation of the affected fingers or toes is often the result.

Frostbite can be prevented by wrapping up in warm kit; and avoiding the Antarctic winter!   I wish Ranulph a safe trip home and the team every success.  They are going to need it.  

Grant Evatt
Senior Associate

Personal Injury team

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