What is Hypothermia ?
It is the condition where the body becomes dangerously cold. It can be caused by brief exposure to extreme cold, or by prolonged exposure to mild cold.
How Hypothermia occurs?
Hypothermia occurs when a person’s deep-core body temperature drops below 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit). It is the lowered temperature of the organs inside the body that is important – an ordinary thermometer cannot measure this.
Hypothermia Symptoms ?
The person may not actually feel cold but if they stay in a cold environment and do little or nothing to keep warm, then they may run the risk of becoming hypothermic or becoming ill with bronchitis or pneumonia. Both are cold-related illnesses.
Danger signs to watch out for:
2). Very cold skin on parts of the body normally covered, for example, stomach or armpits
3). Slurred or incoherent speech
4). Absence of complaint about feeling cold, even in a bitterly cold environment.
First,get the person out of the cold source. It is most important to get the person out of the source of cold, while at the same time, protecting that person from the elements. Remove the person to the inside of the pleasure craft’s cabin. If possible, remove the water-drenched clothing and put him/her in a sleeping bag or cover the person with wool blankets. If possible, to prevent further loss of body heat, warm the person’s body gradually by:
- Replacing wet clothing with dry clothing;
- Wrapping the person in blankets;
- Placing dry coverings over the person;
- Covering the person’s head and neck;
- Covering the person with an insulating device and vapour barrier;
- Applying warm, dry objects (40 to 45°C);
Since there is a large amount of body heat loss in these areas, it is important to protect them by covering the head and neck with a cap and scarf. Use or show signals to show distress and need of assistance, if necessary. If the person asks, give him/her warm liquids but do not give the person alcohol or hot stimulants.
DO NOT’S : rub or massage the surface or extremities of the person’s body since this will activate blood circulation and the cold blood from the extremities will return to the vital organs, possibly causing a heart attack. The shock created by the flow of cold blood to the heart could cause this to happen.