What is Hypothermia: What are the Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

hypothermia-graphicHypothermia is a medical issue, often being an emergency, that occurs when your body loses heat faster than it creates heat, causing your body to dip to dangerously low body temperature. Normal body temperatures are around 98.6 F (37 C) Hypothermia (hypothermia can occur when the body temperature goes below 95 F (35 C).

When your body temperature declines, the heart, nervous system, and other critical organs can not work as normal. Without, hypothermia can ultimately lead to a can lead to complete failure.

Hypothermia is mot often caused by exposures to cold weather or immersing the body in cold water. Primary treatments for hypothermia are the body back to a normal temperature.

Symptoms of Hypothermia

Shivering can be on the first things

Mid hypothermia

hypothermia-graphic2Signs and symptoms of mild hypothermia include:

  1. Hunger
  2. Dizziness
  3. Nausea
  4. Shivering
  5. Trouble sparking
  6. Rapid beating
  7. Lack of coordination
  8. Increased heart rate
  9. Fatigue
  10. Slight confusion

hypothermia-graphic3'Symptoms of moderate to severe hypothermia

When the body temperature drops, signs and symptoms of moderate to severe hypothermia are:

  1. Drowsiness or very low energy
  2. Lack of concern about onโ€™s condition
  3. Weak pulse
  4. Slow, shallow breathing
  5. Slurred speech or mumbling
  6. Clumsiness or lack of coordination
  7. Confusion and poor decision-making, such as attempting to remove warm clothes

Someone with hypothermia normally is not aware that he or she has the condition because the symptoms often begin gradually. Also, the confusion associated with hypothermia reduces self-awareness. The confusion can also encourage the user to take unwarranted risk-taking behavior.

Hypothermia in infants
Usually, signs of hypothermia in babies are the following:

  1. Bright red, cold skin
  2. A weak cry
  3. Very little energy.

Hypothermia is not necessarily associated with the outdoors.

Hypothermia is not alway the result fo exposure to extremely code temperatures outdoors. An older person may develop mild hypothermia after extended exposure to indoor temperatures that would naturally be fine for a healthier or younger adult. This can occur in a home that is poorly heated or in a home that has air-conditioned. Signs and symptoms of this kind of hypothermia may not be as apparent.

When should you doctor –
Call 911 or emergency number if you notice or if you have signs of hypothermia, or if you suspect someone had unprotected or prolong exposure to cold weather or water.

IF you can, take the person inside, while moving them slowly and carefully. Jarring movements can trigger dangerous abnormal heartbeats. Delicately remove wet clothing, and cover the person in several layers of blankets while you wait for emergency help to come.

Causes of Hypothermia

Hypothermia can occur when your body loses heat faster than it generates it. The most common reason for hypothermia extended exposure to cold weather conditions or cold water. However extended exposure to any environment that is colder than your natural body temperature can lead to hypothermia if you are not dressed appropriately or control the conditions.

Specific conditions leading to hypothermia include:

Wearing clothes that are not warm enough for weather conditions.
Staying out in the cold for too long
If you are unable to get out of wet clothes and move into a dry, warm location
Accidental falls into the water, such as a boating accident.
Inefficient heating and in the home, specifically for older people and infants.
Air conditioning can be too cold, especially for infants or the elderly.

How does the body lose heat
There are several mechanisms of heat loss from the body, which include:

Radiated heat – Most of the body heat loss comes to through loss of heat radiation as heat is a loss from unprotected surfaces of your body.
Direct Contact – If you come directly into contact with something very cold, such as cold water, cold air, or the cold ground. Heat is conducted away from the body. Since water is very efficient at transferring heat from your body, body heat is lost much faster in in cold water than in cold air. Also, heat loss from the body occurs much more quickly if your clothing is wet such as being caught out in the rain.
The Wind removes body heat by carrying away a thin layer of warm air on the surface of your skin. A wind chill factor is critical in causing heat loss.

hypothermia-graphic4Risk Factors of Hypothermia

There are some factors that can increase the risk of hypothermia:

Older age: Older adults are more exposed to hypothermia for some reason. The body’s ability to control temperature and to sense cold may decline with age.
Older people are also more likely to have medical conditions that affect temperature regulation. Some may not be mobile enough to get to warm locations; some other may also not be able to communicate.

Very young age – children lose heat faster than adults do.Children have a large surface are to weight than adults do, causing them more to prone to heat loss.
Children may also disregard the cold because they have too much fun to think about it. Children also may not have the judgment to dress effectively in cold water or to get out of the code when they should. Infants may have special problems with cold beacus they have a less efficient mechanism for generating heat.

Mental problems – Individuals with a mental illness, dementia or another disease that impedes judgment may not dress properly for the weather or understand the risks of cold weather. People with dementia may wander from home or get lost easily, making them more likely to be stranded outside in the cold or wet weather.

Alcohol and drug abuse – Alcohol can make the body feel warm inside. However, it causes the blood vessels to expand and dilate, resulting in more rapid heat loss from the surface of you skin. The body’s innate shivering response is diminished in people who ‘ve been drinking alcohol. Also, the use of alcohol or recreational drug can affect your judgment about the need to get inside or warm clothes in cold weather conditions. If a person is intoxicated and passes out in cold weather, he or she is likely to develop hypothermia.

Certain medical conditions. Some health disorders affect you body temperature. Example include hypothyroidism, or underactive thyroid, Anorexia Nervosa, severe are this, trim, poor nutrition, spinal cord injuries, disorders that affect sensations of the extremities, such as diabetes, dehydration, strokes, burns, Parkinson’s diseases, and any condition that limits activity or restraint the normal flow of blood.

Medications – some drugs, inducing certain antidepressants, narcotics pain medications and sedative, antipsychotics, which can change the body’s ability to regulate its temperature.

hypothermia-graphic36Complications
People who develop hypothermia because of cold weather or water, are vulnerable to other cold-related injuries.
Freezing of body tissues (frostbite)
Decay and loss of tissue resulting from an obstruction in blood flow (gangrene)

Test and Diagnoses:
The diagnose of hypothermia is usually appears based on a person’s physical signs and the conditions in which the person with hypothermia become ill or was found. A blood test also can help confirm hypothermia, and it’s severity.

A diagnosis may not be immediately apparent, however, if the symptom is mild, as when an older person who is indoor has symptoms of confusion, lack of coordination and speech problems, IN these cases and exam may include temperature readings with a rectal thermometer that reads low temperatures.

Treatments and Drugs for Hypothermia

You should seek medical attention for anyone who appears to have hypothermia. Until medical help is available, follow these hypothermia treatment guidelines

First-Aid care
Be gentle – when you are assisting someone with hypothermia to handle him or her gently. Limit movements to only those are necessary. Don’t massage or rub the person. Excessive vigorous or jarring movement may trigger cardiac arrest.
Move the person out of the cold environment. Move the person to a warm, dry place if possible.
Shield him or her from the code and wind as much as possible.
Remove wet clothing. But dry clothing on
Cover the individual with blankets Use layers of dry blankets or coats to warm the individual. Cover his or her head, leaving only the face exposed.
Insulate the person body from the around. If you are outside, lay the person on his or her back on a blanket or other warm surface.
Monitor the breathing here may be no apparent signs of pause or breathing. If the person breathing has stopped or appears dangerously low or shallow, begin CPR quickly if you are trained.
Share boy heat; You can remove your clothing and lie next to the person making skin to contact. Cover both bodies with blankets.
Provide warm badges, If the person can provide warm, noncaffeinated, nonalcoholic beverage to keep the body warm.
Use warm, dry compresses. Use first-aid warm compress, which are fluid-filled bags that warm when the are squeezed. You should apply only to the chest wall, neck or groin. Do apply heat to the arms or legs as the heat applied to these areas forces the cold blood back toward the heart, lungs, and brain, causing the temperature to drop. This can be fatal.
Do not apply direct heat. Do not apply direct heat, such as a heating pad, a heating lamp to warm the person. This extreme heat can cause skin Dame, or irregular heart beats so severely it causes the heart to stop.

Medical Treatment
Based on the severity of hypothermia, emergency medical care for hypothermia may incorporate one of the following interventions to raise the body temperature.

Blood warming – blood may be drawn, warmed and recirculated to the body. A common technique of warming blood is the use of a hemodialysis machine; which is frequently used to filter blood in those with poor kidney function. Heart bypass machines can also be utilized.
Warm intravenous fluids – A warm intravenous solution of salt water may be injected into the veins to warm the blood.
Warming the airways – Using humidified oxygen administers with a mask and nasal tub can warm the airways to assist and raising the body temperature.
Irrigation A warm saltwater solution may be caused to warm certain areas of the body, such as the area around the lungs, (pleura)of or the abdominal cavity (peritoneal cavity),

Prevention of Hypothermia
Before you or your children leave into the cold air. You can use a simple acronym COLD. Cover, overexertion, layers, dyes

Cover – Wear, hat, or other protective covering to prevent body heat from escaping from your head, neck and face. Cover you Heads with mittens instead of gloves. You should also wear layers of socks to cover your feet.
Overexertion.Avoid exercises that will cause you to sweat. The combination of cold weather can cause you to lose body heat more quickly.
Layers- Dress and loose-fitting, layered, lightweight clothing. Outer clothing may be tightly woven; water repellent material is best for wind protection.
Dry- Try to sat as dry as possible. Don’t stay in wet clothing.


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