Cold injury: An injury caused by exposure to extreme cold that can lead to loss of body parts and even to death. Examples of cold injury are chilblain, trench foot, and frostbite. Cold injury occurs with and without freezing of body tissues. The young and the elderly are especially prone to cold injury, and alcohol consumption increases the risk of cold injury. It is important not to thaw an extremity if there is a risk of it refreezing. The extremity should be protected from trauma and gradually rewarmed.