Preventing Hypothermia

by Your ER Doc on November 5, 2011

Did you know that surgeons induce hypothermia when they need to slow the body’s metabolism?

But that’s a highly controlled situation. In nature, hypothermia can be deadly. It occurs when an unprotected body is exposed too long to extreme cold, wet, or windy conditions. The body loses heat faster than it can produce it. As body temperature falls, key organs begin to shut down.

If you’re going into nature, protect yourself and your family. Accidents happen. People get lost.

Here are some basic rules:

Wear a hat or head covering.

Cover your hands – mittens are better than gloves.

Avoid over exertion that makes you sweat.

Dress in loose fitting, layered clothing. Outer covering should protect from wind and water; wool next to the body helps contain body heat.

Stay dry. Remove wet clothing as soon as possible.

Remember, good preparation is good prevention.

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