Identifying and Treating Hypothermia
During this time of year a lot of people are affected by hypothermia and many of them have no idea what hypothermia really is or what its symptoms are. When people feel cold they power through as they think it’s normal and soon enough things get worse.
Hypothermia occurs when your body loses heat more rapidly that it can replace it and people falsely assume that it can only occur during extreme cold weather. Your body functions such as blood flow and heart beat are affected when you are exposed to cold, but you need to figure out when your organs are in real danger. The human body is designed to operate best at 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit and when it goes under 95 degrees F, that’s when you enter hypothermia territory.
Just like any other medical conditions, one should learn that there are several symptoms of hypothermia and these distinct signs can tell you what you are dealing with and how critical the situation is.
Levels of hypothermia:
During this stage, you will notice some shivering and hypotension. Although these are normal reactions of your body being exposed to cold for extended periods of time, you need to pay attention to how your body acts if you don’t find proper shelter.
During this stage, body shivering intensifies and paleness of the skin can be observed. Body extremities are starting to get affected and bluing of lips, ears, fingers and toes are common signs. Some patients will display confusion, will lose their coordination and agility although they seem to be alert and in control at first.
During this stage, things get critical and you need to act in order to save your life (asking for professional medical assistance is required). The patient will show difficulty in speaking and thinking and low blood pressure is common during this level of hypothermia. This is the stage when slowed breathing becomes a problem and the patient acts irrational. A lot of people start to strip off their clothes believing that they feel overheated and this is the critical point. As they lose more heat, death occurs shortly after. During this stage is very difficult if not impossible to treat yourself and you require external help.
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