Hypothermia

Hypothermia occurs when your body temperature falls down below the normal temperature which is essential to regulate all your body parts to work properly. Normal body temperature is around 37 °C and hypothermia happens when the temperature drops below the normal level i.e., 35 °C.

Symptoms

Most common symptom of hypothermia is persistent shivering. Symptoms may vary from person to person based on degree of hypothermia and they progress gradually. This includes,

  • Feeling cold
  • Low energy
  • Cool, pale skin
  • Memory loss
  • Exhaustion
  • Weak pulse
  • Confusion, irritability
  • Dizziness
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Loss of physical coordination
  • Coma
  • Death

Hypothermia affects the people who are very old and take alcohol and drugs. Most of the people are not aware about hypothermia condition. Person has to consult a doctor immediately, if he/she experiences the aforementioned symptoms.

Causes

Hypothermia results when your body exposes to extreme cold environment conditions or cold water. Risk factors of Hypothermia include:-

  • Old age
  • Circulatory system disorders
  • Hunger
  • Fatigue
  • Alcohol
  • Drugs
  • Dehydration
  • Physical exertion
  • Tobacco products

People may experience hypothermia condition those who spend more time in outdoor activities such as boating, swimming, skiing and hiking. Everyone who exposes to cold conditions is not affected with hypothermia. The condition varies based on person's personality, physical condition and environmental changes.

Diagnosis

Person who experience hypothermia symptoms has to consult a doctor to confirm it. Doctor uses a specialized thermometer to detect the body temperature. In advanced stage, Tympanic thermometry and bladder probes are used to detect hypothermia condition.

Treatment and Drugs

Follow the below guidelines to treat a patient, if medical care isn't available immediately:

  • Remove the wet clothes and change them with dry clothes.
  • Cover the person's head with a scarf.
  • Move the person into the room and protect him from cold conditions. Cover the patient body with warm blankets. If warm compresses are available apply them in the regions of neck, chest and groin.
  • It is advisable to stay with the person until medical service arrives.

Hospital treatment is necessary when a person experience severe hypothermia symptoms.

Treatment includes,

  • Warmed IV fluids,
  • Peritoneal lavage
  • Pneumonia
  • Heart arrhythmias
  • Ventricular fibrillation

Prevention

Here we offer you few tips to prevent hypothermia condition. This includes,

  • Don't spend more time in extreme cold conditions.
  • Wear warm clothes to stay dry at outdoors. Don't wear clothes and shoes too tight because it stops your blood circulation.
  • Take healthy diet and drink fluids frequently.
  • Try to avoid alcohol, tobacco products and caffeine.

Without proper medical attention or treatment, hypothermia condition may lead to death.