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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Treating Hypothermia

Hypothermia happens when the bodies core temperature lowers to the point where normal functions are impaired. Although most people think of hypothermia as something that only happens in the winter, it is actually very common among people hiking throughout the year.  A sudden change in weather is all it takes for someone to fall victim to hypothermia.
Stages of Hypothermia:
Stages Signs
Mild
  • Shivering
  • Unable to perform tasks with hands
  • Hands become numb
Moderate
  • Uncontrollable Shivering
  • Mental changes – confusion
  • Muscles impaired
  • Breathing becomes labored
Severe
  • Shivering stops
  • Skin Blue
  • Unable to walk
  • Muscles rigid incoherent
  • Irrational behavior
  • semiconscious
  • pulse and breathing decreases

Treating Hypothermia:

  • Reduce heat loss – Remove from wind and cold remove wet clothes provide shelter
  • Food & Water – It is essential to keep a hypo person adequately hydrated
  • Heat – Dry clothing sleeping bag chemical heat packs or hot water bottles
  • Activity – increase physical activity jumping jacks running in place pushups or in sleeping bags moving arms and legs
  • Urination – a full bladder is a place for heat loss frequent Urination can help keep in the heat.