Views: 17 Author: Site Editor Publish Time: 2022-02-28 Origin: Site
What are the symptoms of hypothermia? What to do when hypothermia occurs? How to avoid hypothermia?
What is hypothermia?
Hypothermia, also known as hypothermia, describes the phenomenon when the body's core temperature falls below 35.0°C.
Generally speaking, hypothermia refers to the loss of heat in the human body that is greater than the supply of heat, resulting in a decrease in the temperature of the core area of the human body, and a series of symptoms such as chills, confusion, cardiopulmonary failure, and even death.
There are two main causes of hypothermia, the first most common cause is exposure to extremely low temperatures; the other cause is any kind of condition that inhibits the body's heat production mechanism or increases the rate of hypothermia.
Under what circumstances is prone to hypothermia?
Long-term exposure to cold environment, the human body will use the energy stored in the body to regulate body temperature, but the heat loss is greater than the heat supply, resulting in hypothermia or abnormal hypothermia.
Hypothermia can affect the thinking of the brain, resulting in failure to take protective measures in time. This makes hypothermia even more dangerous because people may not be aware that hypothermia is happening and do not take appropriate protective measures in time.
Hypothermia usually occurs in extremely cold weather, but can also occur in 4-5°C weather if exposed to rain or soaked in cold water in a humid environment.
Who are the vulnerable groups of hypothermia?
Vulnerable groups of people with hypothermia include:
- the elderly without adequate food, clothing or heating equipment;
- infants sleeping in indoor low temperature environments;
- People who stay outdoors for a long time;
- homeless people, hikers, etc.;
- People who drink alcohol.
What are the symptoms of hypothermia?
Hypothermia is divided into mild, moderate and severe stages according to its severity.
Stage 1 (mild hypothermia): Body temperature drops to 32°C to 35°C.
During this stage, the body experiences tremors, numbness in the hands, and inability to perform complex movements; blood vessels in the distal extremities constrict to reduce heat loss; breathing is fast and shallow; and "goose bumps" appear on the skin, which are attempts to make the hair stand up to form a barrier. thermal layer. People with hypothermia may experience fatigue and abdominal pain, trouble seeing, and have abnormally heavy urination.
Sometimes people with hypothermia feel warm instead, but in fact this is a signal that hypothermia is about to progress to the second stage. One way to test how far the disease has progressed to Stage 2 is whether the patient can bring the thumb and little finger into contact, the first stage in which the muscles stop working.
Stage 2 (moderate hypothermia): the body temperature drops to 28℃～32℃.
Muscle incoordination is more obvious, and people's movements are more sluggish and difficult, accompanied by unsteady steps and confusion of direction. Superficial skin blood vessels continue to constrict to keep vital organs warm. People with hypothermia may be pale, and lips, ears, fingers, and toes may turn blue. Abnormal undressing phenomenon occurs, which is the imbalance of the body's self-regulating mechanism, and the expansion of the surrounding blood vessels that have always been contracted, resulting in the illusion of "warming up" for a short time.
Stage 3 (severe hypothermia): Body temperature drops below about 28°C.
Muscle shaking has usually stopped. Difficulty speaking, slow thinking. Exposed skin turns blue, muscle coordination is almost completely lost, walking is impossible, and even coma occurs. Pulse and breathing slow down significantly, and rapid heart rate or atrial fibrillation may occur, eventually leading to heart and lung failure.
What if I am hypothermic?
If found in adults with chills, collapse; scrambling; memory loss, slurred speech; drowsiness. Infants and young children have signs of skin redness, chills, etc., please measure their body temperature in time. If your temperature is below 35°C, seek medical attention immediately.
If you cannot seek immediate medical attention, raise your temperature as follows:
- bring it into a warm room or residence;
- Take off wet clothes promptly;
- take steps to warm the core of the body - chest, neck, head and groin;
- Drinking hot beverages can help raise your body temperature, but do not drink alcoholic beverages or give them to a comatose person.
- Seek medical attention as soon as possible after remission.
How to avoid hypothermia?
- Familiarize yourself with the local weather conditions in advance, and prepare suitable clothes according to the weather conditions;
- If you are traveling in cold weather, please take appropriate wind protection measures and do not expose yourself to cold winds. Warm hats, gloves, scarves, windbreakers, thick socks, windshields, and even goggles are all essentials for traveling in windy, cold weather. There are too many exposed body organs, and the higher the wind speed, the heat of the body will be dissipated accordingly. Choose a larger capacity outdoor travel bag, hunting bag.
- Do outdoor activities in cold weather to keep your body dry. If you get wet, put on dry clothes immediately; carry large-capacity travel bags, backpacks, and choose durable, waterproof fabrics that keep the inner layer dry.
- Choose quick-drying sweat-wicking underwear and avoid cotton underwear. The pure cotton fabric has strong water absorption and is not easy to be exported, resulting in temperature loss;
- Pay attention to the addition and subtraction of clothes. Many people like to wear thick clothes when hiking, for fear of catching a cold on the road. As a result, they can't go very far, sweat profusely, and lose temperature easily;
- bring enough high-calorie food;
——Do not let the body overdraw, prevent dehydration, avoid excessive sweating and fatigue, food and hot drinks, and replenish body heat at any time are also very useful methods to prevent hypothermia; sports backpacks with hydration function are also your best choice.
——Once you encounter hypothermia, you need to go to the emergency department or burn department for first aid. Among the many people in the same group, someone needs to have an emergency first aid kit ready for emergencies.