Hypothermia is a condition during which your body goes into shock when exposed to frigid temperatures. It could be because part of your wet body is exposed to the air or it could be that you have just fallen into ice water.
Hypothermia is a condition in which your body loses more heat than it can replace. As a result, the body temperature of a person drops. If your body is 95 degrees or lower you are considered hypothermia and could end up in shock or unconsciousness. You even could die.
Signs of Hypothermia
Usually losing your balance and not being able to talk coherently is a sign you could be hypothermia. The main signs of hypothermia are often described using the four “umbles.”
The main symptoms of this condition include as follows: Fumbles, mumbles, grumbles, or stumbles. However, this condition is characterized (and further descried) by the presence of these symptoms as well:
- Cold and pale skin
- Slurred or garbled speaking
- Slow or irregular breathing
Diagnostic Studies And Procedures
Hypothermia can be quickly verified by taking a person’s temperature. In the absence of a thermometer, place the back of one hand on the individual’s bare abdomen. If the skin feels unusually cold, presume that the person does have hypothermia and either call for an ambulance or take her to the nearest emergency room. While waiting for help, begin first aid.When the patient is eventually seen by a doctor, blood pressure, pulse, and other vital signs will be quickly evaluated. She will be examined for possible tissue damage, and an electro car diagram taken. After the patient is stabilized, blood tests may be ordered to check for anemia and other disorders that can contribute to hypothermia.
Here are some steps to take to help you deal with and get rid of hypothermia:
1. Check if the affected person is breathing, and check the pulse. You should observe the person’s heartbeat for at least a minute. You should also place your hand or cheek over the individual’s mouth or nose and see if the breathing has stopped.
You should call the emergency room hotline (i.e. 911) if you notice the person’s breathing has slowed or stopped. Also, if you know CPR you should use it right now.
2. Replace the person’s clothing, cover the person’s head, and/or dry the individual off. Be careful not to move the hypothermia person too much because the individual could go into cardiac arrest.
You should also be very careful not to massage the person’s limbs too much, or the cold blood could be forced into the heart. The other option would be to cut the clothing off if you have a hard time removing it from the person’s body.
3. Move the person to a warmer place. If outside, move under the nearest tree or rock formation or at least to a drier place. You should do this as quickly as you can.
However, if you cannot move the person you can shield the individual from the cold as soon as possible. If a blanket or sleeping bag is available you can place this on the ground and use it to wrap the person after you lay the person in it or on it.
4. Share your body heat with the hypothermia person. First, remove all your cloths and lay directly by him. The skin-to-skin contact is the best way to transfer your heat from you to the affected individual.
You can cover you and the other person with a blanket if one is available. This will further help hold the heat towards your body.
5. If the person is conscious, give him/her a warm drink. The best warm drinks to offer are the ones without caffeine or alcohol in them. However, warm tea is fine if it does not have too much caffeine in it. Of course, even plain hot water is better than nothing.