This blog on first aid treatment for Hypothermia is for information purposes only. If you want to learn to recognize and treat hypothermia, take a standard or childcare first aid class (click here to register) through a credible provider such as Vancouver First Aid.
Definition of Hypothermia
Hypothermia is a condition that happens when a victims core body temperature drops below normal and does not allow for proper functioning. This is an enviornmental illness as it occurs in environments of low temperatures.
The causes of Hypothermia are associated with low temperatures. However, environments with more water content at low temperatures cause hypothermia much quicker than environments that are drier at the same low temperature. Water has the ability to cool the human body much faster than air with little humidity (low water content). Victims that are cold and wet or in water that is cold will suffer from hypothermia much faster. Hypothermia is fatal if not treated. If a mild case of hypothermia is untreated it can become fatal.
Signs and Symptoms of Hypothermia:
- Feeling cold
- Lowered levels of consciousness (victim may appear intoxicated)
- Slurred speech
- Cyanosis of lips and fingertips (blue lips and fingertips)
- Pale and or blue in the extremitities
- Disorientation, confusion.
- Drowsy, desire to sleep.
Treatment of Hypothermia:
- Move victim out of cold environment
- Bring victim to a warm environment
- DO NOT rub the victims bod surface.
- Remove wet clothing
- Dry the victim
- Warm the body with blankets, warm drinks or huddling with the victim
- Be wary of the many myths associated with Hypothermia
- Do not give the victim alcoholic beverages.
- Checking the pulse of a victim suffering from Hypothermia can be very difficult as the pulse may slow and be difficult to find.
- Dress appropriately for the weather.
- When leaving to go outside in cold weather, go with someone or tell somebody where you are going and when you will be back.
- Be conscious of Ice. Know your ice safety. When in doubt, stay off of ice.
- Eat plenty of high energy foods. Your body burns a lot of calories when cold. To reduce fatigue eat plenty food and stay hydrated.
The information posted in this blog on Hypothermia is for information purposes only. To learn how to recognize and treat environmental illnesses and injuries take one of the many first aid classes offered by Vancouver First Aid.