What You Should Be Aware of
Hypothermia is a potentially life-threatening condition caused by an abrupt and significant drop in core body temperature. This condition affects every organ system, such as the heart, liver, kidneys and blood vessels.
It can lead to various serious medical conditions, such as pneumonia or pulmonary edema. Furthermore, it has the potential for brain damage and death.
Helping Someone Who Has Hypothermia
If you come across someone suffering from hypothermia, it’s critical to get them out of the cold and into shelter as soon as possible. Start by taking away any wet clothing and moving them into a warm, dry place like a blanket or chair; alternatively, electric blankets may be available or skin-to-skin contact can also help regulate body temperature.
Hypothermic individuals will shiver, their heart rate and breathing slow down, and they become pale. These are signs of severe hypothermia that must be addressed promptly.
Hypothermia can be treated by administering fluids back into the veins or using a nasal mask or cavity lavage – in which warm saltwater is pumped into your stomach – to rewarm you.
Hypothermia can be prevented by dressing for the weather and wearing layers of clothing with hats and gloves. You should also prepare yourself by checking the forecast and keeping a survival kit handy in your car or home to deal with changing conditions.
How to Tell If You Have Hypothermia
Many factors can contribute to hypothermia, including age, underlying health conditions, tight clothing or boots, poor circulation, fatigue and certain medications and alcohol. But most people can avoid it by dressing appropriately for the weather; wearing hats and gloves; covering all body areas; and seeking shelter when temperatures drop.
Your risk of becoming hypothermic is determined by several factors, some of which are genetic. People with a low body mass index (BMI) are more susceptible to becoming hypothermic than those with normal BMIs.
Other factors that could increase your likelihood of becoming hypothermic include diabetes, poor circulation and certain medical conditions such as mental illness and somatosensory disorders or nerve damage. It’s essential to exercise in the morning before going outside so your body can warm up and become better equipped to fight off hypothermia.
Treatment of Hypothermia
Rewarming someone who has mild to moderate hypothermia is an easy procedure that anyone can do. It involves taking off any wet clothing, moving them indoors, and using body heat to help warm them up.
You may offer warm liquids to an unconscious person, but avoid providing alcohol or anything else which will accelerate their heat loss.
It is essential to remember that someone suffering from severe or life-threatening hypothermia might appear confused, asleep or unconscious. This makes it difficult to determine whether they are still alive or not, so if you suspect hypothermia in someone in your family or friend, call for emergency help as soon as possible.