What does first aid for hypothermia include?

Hypothermia is the state of the body in which the body temperature drops below 36.6 degrees. Many factors can contribute to the occurrence of hypothermia: prolonged exposure to open air at low temperatures with high humidity, wind, in the absence of warm clothing and shelter, warm drinking, as well as prolonged exposure to cold water, for example, when falling into a pond in winter.

Other factors can aggravate the situation, contributing to the transition from a mild degree of hypothermia to severe frostbite. These are such factors as: intoxication, smoking, starvation, tight and wet clothes, weakened immunity due to the disease, severe loss of blood, diseases of the cardiovascular system, low weight, childhood or old age. If there are risk factors in adverse weather conditions, hypothermia of the body must be avoided, and if this happens, first aid should be provided as soon as possible during hypothermia.

Symptoms of hypothermia

Symptoms of hypothermia

Before providing first aid for hypothermia, you must be able to distinguish between symptoms. Hypothermia is very simple to recognize by the following symptoms:

  • Forgetfulness
  • Severe chills
  • Lethargy, drowsiness
  • Speech confusion
  • The skin is cold to the touch and pale in appearance
  • Dyspnea
  • Heart palpitations
  • Apathy to everything that happens

If, when the first signs of hypothermia appear, the person continues to be in the same environment, then other symptoms appear: cardiac arrhythmia, slowing of the pulse, forgetfulness, shallow breathing, blueness of the skin, disorientation in space, severe trembling. At this stage, in no case should not succumb to severe drowsiness. With a severe degree of hypothermia, frostbite also occurs, and the state of the person becomes critical. Cardiac arrest, loss of consciousness, cramps, nausea and vomiting occur, blood pressure becomes too low, normal brain activity is disturbed, pupils increase.

What to do with hypothermia?

What to do with hypothermia

If you feel that the state of the body is on the verge of hypothermia, and there is nowhere to wait for help, then you should know what to do with hypothermia:

  • The only salvation is movement. You can’t stop on the road if suddenly you suddenly fall asleep, take a seat, let alone go to bed.
  • If you are far from the nearest village or any crowded place, you need to try to find a place protected from the wind, to light a fire.
  • Take a warm drink (but not alcohol!).
  • If you are thirsty, in no case should you eat snow or ice.
  • Light physical exercises, such as squats, will help disperse blood and warm up the body.
What to do with hypothermia

If you just froze on the street, when you get home, you need to take a warm bath, wipe your limbs with cotton wool moistened with alcohol, take a warm drink, sweet tea is best. If you do not feel worse, you should eat warm liquid food and take a horizontal position. If you feel worse, an arrhythmia or confusion has begun, you must call an ambulance.

First aid for hypothermia and frostbite

Subcooling assistance

First aid for hypothermia should be done differently depending on the severity of the victim.

First aid for general hypothermia

Help with general hypothermia

The first stage of hypothermia is a mild degree when the victim does not need emergency care, but the body temperature drops below normal, which is a signal for an immediate response to avoid negative consequences.

At the same time, he feels a chill, his skin is pale, but his consciousness is clear and his heart rate is not disturbed. First aid for mild overcooling is to deliver a person to a warm room, providing hot food and hot sweet drink, if possible, provide a hot bath. It is important to gradually heat the water in the bath: a person is placed in warm water (36 degrees), gradually hot (up to 40 degrees) is added there until the body temperature of the victim rises to a normal value of 36.6. After that, they wrap him in dry, warm clothes and provide peace.

What to do with hypothermia

First aid for general hypothermia of the second stage is provided when the victim has more severe symptoms: lethargy, drowsiness, speech confusion, indifferent perception of the outside world, pale skin, pulse slows down, impaired coordination of movements. Emergency care for such hypothermia consists in warming the victim, taking him a hot drink. In traveling conditions, you need to have an aspirin tablet with you - it will help thin the blood and reduce the load on the heart. It is necessary to give the patient aspirin at the rate of 1 tablet per 40 kg of weight. As soon as possible, you need to find a windless shelter and try to warm the victim with the heat of your body, while you need to remove outer clothing from yourself and from him, so heat transfer is faster. The warming process lasts until the person feels better, then put on dry, warm clothes. If conditions allow, the victim can be warmed with hot water bottles, heating pads, heated bags, and gradually warming the bath.

First aid for hypothermia

Once in marching conditions, with hypothermia of the third degree of severity, assistance should be provided immediately. This stage is characterized by depression of consciousness, a decrease in the level of reflexes, and a slowdown in the frequency of respiration and pulse. With this state of health, the body temperature drops to 25 degrees, when the swallowing reflex may disappear. In this case, in no case should drink or food be given to the affected person, only warming with their own heat is necessary. In this case, the person needs to turn on his side, and constantly monitor the heart rate and respiration, so that primary care in the form of indirect heart massage or artificial respiration can be provided in a timely manner.

Emergency care for hypothermia

When severe hypothermia occurs, the body temperature drops below 25 degrees. Consciousness is oppressed, nausea, vomiting, cramps, pulse and breathing are rare. In this condition, it is necessary to provide qualified medical assistance as soon as possible, and the only thing that can be done before first aid is to continue to warm the victim with his own heat, controlling the heart rate and respiratory rate. If the pulse is not felt and breathing becomes intermittent, you must immediately begin an indirect heart massage, which must be done until the body temperature rises to at least 32 degrees.

First aid for frostbite

Help with frostbite

When the body is cold, exposed areas of the body can be frostbite. The degree of frostbite depends on the state of the tissues - from redness under the influence of cold to necrosis. Most often, frostbite occurs on the face, neck, hands, fingers, feet.

There are four degrees of frostbite:

  1. Redness of the skin, swelling in the place of frostbite, the appearance of swelling of the hands or feet, a burning sensation, tingling.
  2. Circulatory disorders, the appearance of bubbles with fluid, significant swelling.

3 and 4. Necrosis of tissues and muscles, up to the joints. Decrease in body temperature, loss of sensitivity, the formation of purulent areas.

first aid for frostbite

If the degree of frostbite is mild, there are no blisters and severe swelling on the skin, you should rub it with your hands or a woolen cloth until redness. It is impossible to grind if frostbite is 3 or 4 degrees. Insulating dressings should be applied to the affected areas, fixed. Simultaneously with these actions, first aid should be provided for hypothermia.

If there are no edema and blisters in the affected area, you can wipe it with vodka or alcohol and massage your skin with clean hands in the direction of the heart. The skin should be gently and gently rubbed until it becomes warm and red. In case of serious injuries, the victim must be taken to a doctor as soon as possible.

First aid for frostbite and hypothermia: unacceptable actions

First aid for hypothermia and frostbite

First aid for frostbite and hypothermia should be provided taking into account precautions. So, with hypothermia and frostbite, it is categorically impossible to perform the following actions in relation to the victim:

  • The victim must not be sharply placed in a room with high air temperature, for example, equipped with heat guns or heated with oil radiators. The temperature should be room temperature.
  • Do not use dry heat in relation to affected tissue.
  • Do not completely immerse the victim in a warm bath; this can cause cardiac arrest.
  • Do not give alcohol or caffeinated drinks to the affected person.
  • The victim should not be allowed to smoke.
  • Parts of the body damaged by frostbite should be motionless to prevent hemorrhage.
  • Do not lay the patient on a cold surface.
What should not be done with frostbite

In addition, it is forbidden to rub the affected areas of the body, especially with snow, sharply warm, grease with oily cream, ointment. Rubbing the body will cause the flow of cold blood to the internal organs and the brain, while warming up the body should be from the center to the periphery. Thus, correctly provided first aid after frostbite and hypothermia will help save a person's life.

Watch the video: Frostbite and Hypothermia Prevention: Tips from Penn Medicines Level I Trauma Center (April 2020).