Hypothermia is a high-risk condition in extreme cold, such as snowy areas, in people who are not wearing warm clothing. Know the characteristics of hypothermia, from mild to severe.
Body temperature that drops significantly due to extreme cold weather, needs to be treated immediately to prevent dangerous complications. Check out complete information about the characteristics of hypothermia and its stages.
Get to know what hypothermia is
When a person is exposed to extreme cold without adequate protection, hypothermia occurs. Hypothermia triggers a decrease in the function and performance of the brain, heart and nervous system. If not treated quickly, hypothermia can cause life-threatening complications, such as heart failure, worsening bradycardia, fainting, and even death.
Characteristics of Hypothermia and Its Stages
Rapid treatment of hypothermia is needed to prevent life-threatening complications. Based on the severity, the characteristics of hypothermia consist of 3 different stages, ranging from mild to severe. Quoted from AAFP, the following are the stages of hypothermia and its characteristics:
The patient’s body temperature is 32-35 degrees Celsius. Following are the characteristics:
- Increase in blood pressure
- Heart rate increases.
- Irregular breathing.
- Lack of coordination.
2. Medium stage
The patient’s body temperature is 28-32 degrees Celsius. Following are the characteristics:
- Consciousness diminishes.
- Breathing slows down.
- Irregular heartbeat.
- Blood pressure drops.
- The pupils are dilated.
- Loss of reflexes.
3. Severe stage
The body temperature of a patient with severe hypothermia is below 28 degrees Celsius. This stage is characterized by a significant decrease in awareness of oneself and the environment around it. Severe hypothermia is classified as dangerous and requires immediate treatment from a doctor. Its characteristics, namely:
- Heart failure.
- The pupils do not react.
- It’s hard to breathe.
- Pulmonary oedema.
- cardiac arrest.
How to Deal with Hypothermia
In order for the results to be effective, help for hypothermia sufferers needs to be adjusted to the cause. Before medical treatment, there are a number of steps you can take to relieve the signs of hypothermia:
- Place the hypothermic patient in a warm and comfortable place.
- Make sure he doesn’t wear wet clothes and cover his body and head.
- If breathing is still working, monitor and monitor its progress. However, if breathing stops, apply CPR.
- Give warm drinks if the patient is conscious.
- Do not give alcohol or caffeine to sufferers, because they can inhibit circulation to warm the body.
- Do not use water or high-temperature lamps to warm sufferers. Temperatures that are too high can actually damage the skin and make the heartbeat irregular
Keep in mind, handling hypothermia needs to be done gently, because excessive movement, such as rubbing or massaging, can trigger a heart attack.
After that, you need to urgently call for medical help. Here are a number of medical measures that are usually applied to treat hypothermia:
- Installation of intravenous fluids.
- Installation of oxygen, so that sufferers can breathe easily and their bodies stay warm.
- Warming blood with a dialysis machine for people with severe hypothermia.
- For patients with mild hypothermia, the body will be covered and given warm drinks.
If you want to climb mountains or travel to areas with extreme cold weather, it’s best to discuss with your doctor to make sure your condition is really ready.