EXTREME COLD [HYPOTHERMIA]

Extreme cold Hypothermia is a medical problem caused by your body losing heat faster than it can create heat, resulting in a dangerously low body temperature. Longer exposures will ultimately deplete your body’s stored energy, resulting in a lower body temperature.

A low body temperature affects the brain, making the individual unable to concentrate or function properly. This makes hypothermia more dangerous since the victim may be ignorant of the condition and unable to react.

While hypothermia is more prevalent in freezing weather, it may occur in mild temperatures (over 40 degrees Fahrenheit) if a person is chilled by rain, sweat, or immersion in cold water.

SYMPTOMS

Because shivering is your body’s inherent defense against cold temperature — an effort to warm itself — it will likely be the first symptom you feel when the temperature drops.

Among the symptoms and signs of Extreme cold Hypothermia are:

  • Confusion or loss of memory
  • Slow, shallow breathing
  • Clumsiness or incoordination
  • Shivering
  • Slurred or mumbled speech
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Drowsiness or extreme fatigue
  • Weak pulse
  • Bright red and icy skin (in babies)

Typically, a person with hypothermia is unaware of his or her illness due to the slow onset of symptoms. Additionally, the muddled cognition associated with hypothermia inhibits self-awareness. Additionally, confused thinking might result in risk-taking behavior.

DIAGNOSIS

The diagnosis of Extreme cold [Hypothermia] is generally evident based on a person’s physical indications and the circumstances under which the individual got unwell or was discovered. Blood testing may also assist in establishing the presence and severity of hypothermia.

However, a diagnosis may be difficult to make if the symptoms are modest, such as when an elderly person inside has disorientation, loss of coordination, and speech difficulties.

TREATMENT

Anyone who appears to be hypothermic should seek emergency medical assistance. Follow these Extreme cold [Hypothermia] first-aid protocols until medical assistance arrives.

First-aid

Handle a hypothermic individual with care. Limit your motions to just those that are absolutely essential.

  • If feasible, move the individual to a warm, dry area.
  • Take off any wet garments.
  • Wrap blankets around the patient.
  • Monitor breathing.
  • Provide warm beverages.
  • Make use of warm, dry compresses. Only use a compress on the neck, chest wall, or groin. 
  • Don’t use direct heat. To warm the individual, do not use hot water, a heating pad, or a heating light.

Medical Treatment

Depending on the extent of the hypothermia, emergency medical treatment may involve one or more of the following measures to increase the body temperature:

  • Airway rewarming
  • Blood rewarming
  • Passive rewarming
  • Irrigation
  • Warm intravenous fluids

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