Hypothermia occurs when the heat in the body is reduced, due to exposure to extreme cold. If not treated immediately, hypothermia can be life-threatening. Find out more about how to deal with hypothermia.
Hypothermia requires immediate treatment so that it does not cause dangerous complications, such as cardiac arrest, fainting, and even death. Here are various ways to deal with hypothermia that you can apply.
Various Ways to Overcome Hypothermia
Hypothermia can be triggered by many things, such as spending a long time in snowy areas or not being properly protected by clothing in cold weather.
Hypothermia inhibits the function of important organs, such as the heart and brain. To reduce the symptoms, here are various ways to deal with hypothermia that are easy for you to apply:
1. Identify the symptoms of hypothermia
In order for hypothermia to be treated immediately, you need to identify the symptoms first, namely:
- Difficulty breathing
- Skin looks pale.
- Movement is not optimal.
- Slow heart rate
These symptoms are triggered by a number of important organs whose function is not optimal due to extreme cold weather, one of which is the heart. This makes blood unable to flow to the brain optimally, thus triggering a decrease in reflexes and level of consciousness.
2. Place in a warm place
After identifying the symptoms of hypothermia, immediately position the patient in a warm area. If necessary, move the patient to a dry area. If you don’t have a warm or dry area, protect the person from the extreme cold with a thick blanket or jacket.
In addition, make sure the sufferer wears dry clothes so they don’t shiver. Keep in mind, warm air is important for hypothermic sufferers. Therefore, try to protect it with blankets, sleeping bags, or layers of clothing.
If the patient already feels warm, the next way to deal with hypothermia is recovery with compresses. This effort is applied to keep sufferers warm. Compress on the chest, neck and groin. However, don’t apply compresses to your legs or arms, as they run the risk of cold blood flowing to your heart, brain, and lungs. In addition, you should use a dry cloth to compress the sufferer.
4. Avoid direct heat contact
Although warm temperatures are important for recovery from hypothermia, the use of hot water is not recommended. Quoted from the Red Cross, hot water triggers it overheatingwhich triggers skin breakdown and interferes with the heartbeat.
The right way to warm the sufferer is to gently bring him to a heater, exposure to the sun, or a campfire. After the temperature returns to normal, give warm drinks or food. Avoid giving alcohol, which risks blocking blood flow to increase body heat.
Hypothermia Medical Treatment
If the sufferer begins to lose consciousness, medical action is the right choice. The following are a number of efforts implemented to keep the patient’s body temperature normal:
- Perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) if breathing stops suddenly.
- Wear clothes that can keep the patient warm.
- Inserting an infusion into the body, especially the stomach and chest, to warm the patient’s body.
- The use of heating devices, for example masks containing warm air or warm bottles, to warm the patient’s body.
- Warming the blood with a heart and lung bypass machine (CPB) or a hemodialysis machine for people with severe hypothermia.