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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 70-75

A pilot study to assess the effectiveness of local application of salbutamol and nitroglycerine for improvement of hand dexterity and comfort in extreme cold climate at high altitude

1 Department of Physiology, All India Institiute of Medical sciences, Rishikesh, India
2 Department of Dermatology, Base Hospital Delhi Cantt & Army College of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
3 Department of Physiology, Army College of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
4 Department of Physiology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India
5 Vice Chancellor Sikkim Manipal University, Ex Director General Medical Services Army, Gangtok, Sikkim, India

Correspondence Address:
Gautam Kumar Singh
Base Hospital Delhi Cantt & Army College of Medical Sciences, New Delhi 110010
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijdd.ijdd_13_19

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Background: Reduced manual dexterity and hand comfort affect all people exposed to extreme cold. Ointment nitroglycerine 0.2% (NTG) and ointment salbutamol 0.5% (Sal) applied topically to the extremities could result in increased local blood flow and temperature, improving hand comfort and dexterity in extreme cold. Aim and Objectives: This study was designed to elucidate if the application of NTG or Sal would improve manual dexterity and hand comfort in extreme cold conditions. Materials and Methods: A double-blind, randomized controlled trial was conducted at 3500 m altitude in 105 individuals divided into three equal-sized groups. Group A received NTG, Group B placebo (white soft paraffin), and Group C Sal, for application to the extremities twice daily, for 2 weeks. Hand skin temperatures (Tsk), Pegboard scores, and a Graphic Rating Scale (GRS) for pain were compared before and after the intervention. Adverse effects and user acceptability criteria were recorded. Results: Participants of all three groups showed significant improvement in Tsk, Pegboard scores, and GRS scores postintervention, however none of the parameters were different between groups. The acceptability questionnaire scores were best in the placebo group. Conclusion: Neither NTG nor Sal was superior to placebo for improvement in hand comfort or dexterity, in extreme cold at high altitude.

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