As everyone in Ohio has just seen the first round of severe cold weather, it is fresh on our minds that winter is just beginning. Often, after Christmas is over people want the cold and snow to go with it, but that will not be the case. There is a long winter ahead. Read on to learn more about protecting against hypothermia and frostbite during brutally cold days and nights. Knowing the signs and symptoms could save someone’s life.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, hypothermia and frostbite are two separate medical concerns that could affect a person’s body, but both happen due to a person being exposed to cold temperatures.
What is Hypothermia:
- prolonged exposure to very cold temperatures, when exposed to cold temperatures
- A body temperature that is too low affects the brain, making the victim unable to think clearly or move well.
- It mostly occurs at very cold temperatures but can occur at cool temperatures (above 40°F) if a person becomes chilled from rain, sweat, or submersion in cold water.
What are the signs and symptoms of hypothermia?
- Exhaustion or feeling very tired
- Fumbling hands
- Memory loss
- Slurred speech
- bright red, cold skin
- very low energy
Hypothermia is a medical emergency. If you notice any of the above signs, take the person’s temperature. If it is below 95° F, get medical attention immediately!
If you have to wait for 911 do the following supportive actions:
- Get the person into a warm room or shelter.
- Remove any wet clothing the person is wearing.
- Warm the center of the person’s body
- Warm drinks can help increase body temperature, but do not give alcoholic drinks.
- After body temperature has increased, keep the person dry and wrap their body, including their head and neck, in a warm blanket.
- If the person is unconscious perform CPR, even if the person appears dead. CPR should continue until the person responds or medical aid becomes available. Keep warming the person while performing CPR.
Be on the lookout for the next article talking about frostbite, and how to stay safe and prevent it from happening.