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EMS - Hypothermia

Hypothermia – a decrease in the core body temperature to a level at which normal muscular and cerebral functions are impaired.

Conditions Causing Hypothermia

  • Cold temperatures
  • Cool indoor environment
  • Improper clothing and equipment
  • Wetness
  • Fatigue, exhaustion
  • Dehydration
  • Poor food intake

At 95 degrees core body temperature, hypothermia may start to set in.  Signs of hypothermia may include:

  • Shivering
  • Muscle activities become uncoordinated
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Movements are slow and labored
  • Confusion
  • Withdrawn

Use a sobriety test; if unable to walk a 30-foot straight line, the person may be hypothermic.

Prevent Heat Loss

Your body loses heat by respiration, evaporation, conduction, radiation, and convection.

To prevent loss by respiration, cover your mouth and nose with loosely woven or knit cloth.

To reduce evaporation through excessive perspiration, wear cloths that breathe and are in layers.

To avoid loss by conduction, insulate between your body and a cold, wet surface.

To prevent loss by radiation, keep the head, hands and feet covered.

To prevent loss by convection, protect the body from the wind. 

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Page Modified: March 14, 2014 12:27 PM

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