What is Hypothermia: It’s Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Read Now

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Has your body temperature suddenly dropped significantly? This needs to be watched out for as a sign of hypothermia. What is hypothermia and what causes it?

When the body is exposed to extreme cold air or water temperatures, hypothermia occurs. If left without proper treatment, hypothermia can be life threatening. What is hypothermia, its causes and treatment? Here’s the full explanation.

Get to know what hypothermia is and its causes

If body heat cannot replace lost heat, hypothermia occurs. There are a number of factors that trigger hypothermia, namely:

  • Been in the snowy region for a long time.
  • Not wearing adequate clothing when the weather is cold.
  • Wearing wet clothes for a long time.
  • Was in the water a long time.

Hypothermia can strike anyone. However, a number of conditions can increase your risk of hypothermia, such as:

  • Psychiatric illness, such as dementia.
  • Vulnerable groups, for example infants, toddlers and the elderly.
  • Fatigue.
  • Drink alcohol.
  • Drug abuse.
  • Some diseases, such as hypothyroidism, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, or stroke.
  • Taking medications, such as sedatives, opioids, or clonidine.

Symptoms of Hypothermia

People with hypothermia can show different characteristics. The following are the characteristics of hypothermia based on the degree:

  1. Symptoms of mild hypothermia:
  • shivers.
  • Pale.
  • Weak.
  • Numb.
  • Tachycardia.
  • Cold skin.
  • Rapid breathing.

2. Characteristics of moderate hypothermia:

  • Blood pressure drop.
  • Decreased consciousness.
  • Urinary incontinence.
  • Bradycardia.
  • Breathing slows down.

3. Characteristics of severe hypothermia:

  • The bradycardia gets worse.
  • Stiff muscles
  • Decreased response.
  • Breathing weakens.
  • Faint.
  • cardiac arrest.

Don’t wait for hypothermia to become a dangerous complication. If you experience the characteristics previously mentioned, contact your doctor immediately to get the right treatment.

Hypothermia Treatment

Initial aid for people with hypothermia is to check their breathing and pulse. If breathing and pulse stop, apply immediately cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and request medical attention.

However, if the breathing and pulse of the person with hypothermia are still normal, apply various measures to relieve the signs of hypothermia, namely:

  • Make sure the person with hypothermia does not use wet clothes.
  • Place the person in a warm area slowly. Sudden movements risk stopping breathing.
  • If the person is conscious, give warm and sweet drinks.
  • Protect the sufferer’s body with a thick blanket or jacket to keep warm.
  • 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.
  • Compress the sufferer so that his body temperature remains warm. The trick, compress on the chest, neck and groin. Do not compress on legs or arms. This runs the risk of cold blood flowing to the heart, brain and lungs.
  • Monitor and accompany the sufferer until medical help arrives.
  • Avoid warming the sufferer’s legs and arms, because it risks stressing the lungs and heart.
  • Avoid giving cigarettes and alcohol to people with hypothermia. Cigarettes and alcohol are considered to inhibit circulation to warm the body.

When undergoing medical action, there are a number of efforts that are applied, namely:

  • Installation of intravenous fluids.
  • Installation of oxygen so that sufferers can breathe freely and keep their bodies warm.
  • Warming blood with a dialysis machine for people with severe hypothermia.

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