Hypothermia happens when the body gets too cold. Fall and Winter are high risk Hypothermia times since temperature changes can be dramatic and quick. Ironically, many Hypothermia incidents happen over 75 degrees.
Things become critical when you lose body temperature faster than the body can produce heat. Ultimately, the body temperature becomes dangerously low. Immersion in water or drastic weather changes can instigate a Hypothermia crisis.
Your body reacts to these conditions in stages.
Confusion, trouble speaking
Increased heartrate, breathing
These reactions are your body trying to warm you up. The victims of Hypothermia are usually not aware of their condition. Confusion and gradual worsening symptoms reduce self-awareness. As the symptoms increase, the victim becomes more confused and struggles to do anything. Energy decreases, pulse slows, breathing becomes shallow and the body begins to shut down. It is now when a victim can lose consciousness.
Having a War Bag of emergency gear is always a good idea. Hopes are that it will never be needed. Include extra towels, clothing, and an old sleeping bag. Emergency sleeping bags are small and effective. A Space Blanket will also help. Chocolate candy bars will help the body generate quick energy.
If the victim is wet, change them into dry clothes and wrap the up in the blanket or sleeping bag. Heaters, fires, and personal contact help.
The best way to deal with Hypothermia is prevention. Be aware and avoid the risks. Knowledge is power and helps with prevention.
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