Remember the five methodof body heat losabove. To survive in a cold environment, stop or reduce amany ayou can.
Losing body heat by losing body fluids, in sweat or breathing will also affect the fluid levels, saltand electrolytein the body, which can lead to dehydration even m a cold climate Dehydration ia dangerouand unwanted complication ot hypothermia!
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Who iat risk?
• Babieare at risk because they cannot do anything to protect themselves, or let anyone know that they are cold.
• Older people are possibly inactive, not able to seek shelter, or not able to participate in activitiethat would warm them.
• At home the elderly may also be possibly leswell oft. which meanthat they may not be able to afford to keep warm.
• Anvone who haa disability or ialready suffering from an illnesialso more susceptible to hypothermia.
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• It haalso been found that people who take some drugarc lesable to regulate their own body temperature. Some prescription and illegal drughave thieffect.
• There will be a cold environment.
• Muscle stiffnesnoticeable in the neck, armand legs.
• Possible gentle trembling that may be confined to one side of the bodor one arm or leg.
• Shivering ithe procesthe body useto keep warm. If shivering stops, the patient may have warmed up, OR they may be even colder and in the earlstageot hypothermia.
• Their face could appear to be puffy or swollen.
• The patient’co-ordination may be deteriorating. They sometimefmd it hard to walk and they easily lose their balance.
• Breathing and heart rate slow ahypothermia progresses.
• The skin lookpale (because all blood suppliehave withdrawn from surface skin to protect vital organs), but there may be large pink or blue spotof skin. The skin feelvery cold, even where it inot exposed to the air. (Check for thiby touching under their clothing on the stomach, lower back, arms, legs, etc.).
• Athe condition getworse, the patient beginto lose consciousness. An indication of which ithat they often lose the ability to reason and communicate – but that doesn’t alwayhappen. Test thiby asking simple questions, such awhat ithe date, what itwelve divided by four, etc.
• Ahypothermia getworse, the patient becomemore confused. They may forget the name of close family memberand friends, or not be able to remember the town they live in.
• The patient can become listless, though some patientbecome aggressive or argumentative.