Encyclopedia

Hypothermia

Description

Hypothermia is defined as a condition in which the core or internal body temperature is lower than 35 degrees Celsius. Normal body temperature temperature varies from about 36.6 ° C to 37.7 ° C.

Internal temperature is best measured by inserting a thermometer into the rectum. If a hypothermic condition is suspected, the temperature of the lips, ears or armpits should not be relied upon.

An internal body temperature of 35°C or lower can lead to the initiation of damage to the heart and nervous system. And in many cases, it is possible to cause severe heart, respiratory and other problems, which lead to multiple organ failure and subsequent death.

About half of deaths from hypothermia are in people over the age of 65.

Hypothermia has also been a war problem since Hannibal in the Second Punic War lost almost all of his troops when crossing the Pyrenees and the Alps in 218 BC. and continues to accompany the military campaigns during the two world wars.

Tragic stories of people falling into icy lakes are poignant examples of the state of hypothermia. For anyone exposed to cold temperatures, whether at work or on holiday, there is an increased risk of developing the condition.

Today, with the rise in popularity of a large number of winter sports and the increase in the number of people at risk, hypothermia is slowly becoming a civic and urban problem.

Hypothermia is used as a method to improve the neurological condition of people who have experienced cardiac arrest.

What are the symptoms?

• At a body temperature below 35 degrees Celsius, strong shivering is observed. Heart rate, breathing rate, and blood pressure increase.
• If body temperature continues to drop, heart rate, breathing rate, and blood pressure also begin to decrease. The affected person feels clumsy, confused, apathetic and does not speak clearly.
• When the core body temperature drops below 32.2 ° C, shivering stops and oxygen needs begin to decrease. The victim may fall into a state of numbness, and the heart may begin to beat irregularly.
At a body temperature below 28.4 ° C, reflexes are lost and the pumping function of the heart continues to decrease . The risk of a dangerously irregular heart rate is increased and brain activity is severely slowed. The pupils are dilated and the victim appears to be comatose or dead.

Treatment of hypothermia

The first priority is to perform a careful check for pulse and breathing and then initiate cardiopulmonary resuscitation as needed.

If the victim is unconscious and with severe difficulty breathing or a severely slowed pulse, you should seek immediate medical attention.
• Because the victim’s pulse may be very weak and slow , checking for a pulse should last at least 1 minute before starting cardiopulmonary resuscitation, because if the procedure is not performed correctly, the victim’s death may occur.

The second priority is warming the overcooled body:

All wet clothing should be removed and the affected person moved to a heated room.
• Warm fluids should be given if able to drink, but in no case < strong>not to give him caffeine and alcohol.
Cover the person’s body with blankets and aluminum foil or if you have other protective coverings nearby such as a sleeping bag. Avoid actively warming the casualty with external heat sources such as radiators or hot tubs. This will only reduce the shivering, but slow down the increase in temperature inside the body.

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