Symptoms of hypothermia require immediate treatment in order to live. First aid and survivor protocol methods may also be required.
What is it?
Hypothermia (not to be confused with hyperthermia) is when the body loses heat faster than it can produce heat due to cold weather or immersion into a cold body of water. It results in a dangerously low body temperature. Normal body temperature is about 98.6 °F (37 °C), but symptoms of hypothermia occur when the body temperature drops below 95 °F (35 °C).
Where is it located?
Hypothermia is common in males and the elderly. Three of symptoms of hypothermia main causes are: alcohol consumption from making you feel warmer while increasing your heat loss. Poverty due to an inability to afford adequate heating. And water immersion from swimming or diving in cold water. Hypothermia causes at least 1,500 deaths per year in the U.S. alone, many of them happening to the homeless who freeze to death in the freezing or subzero winter cold and snow.
How will it kill you?
A rapid drop in your body’s temperature keeps your heart, nervous system, and other organs from functioning normally. It can also cause effects such as confusion and strange behaviors like clumsiness and fatigue. Lindsay Gardner suffered from a severe case in which she became completely disoriented and began to feel hot, therefore paradoxically removing her and her baby’s clothing. Death generally occurs due to complete failure of your heart and nervous system.
How to survive:
If you’re dealing with someone suffering from hypothermia, begin by moving them out of the cold and removing any wet clothing they may be wearing. Cover them with blankets and extra clothes while serving them warm, sweet beverages to avoid hypoglycemia. Whatever you do, avoid excessive massaging or rubbing when sharing body heat as well as alcohol or caffeinated drinks. Vigorous, jarring movements may trigger cardiac arrest while alcohol or caffeine speeds up heat loss. Those suffering from unconsciousness or other symptoms of severe hypothermia should be brought to a hospital where they can receive more supportive care.