First aid for hypothermia and frostbite

Hypothermia is a condition of the body in which the body temperature becomes below the level of 36.6 degrees. Many factors can contribute to hypothermia: prolonged exposure to the open air at low temperatures with high humidity, wind, lack of warm clothing and shelter, warm drinking, and 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 slight degree of hypothermia to severe frostbite. These factors include alcohol intoxication, smoking, fasting, tight and wet clothing, weakened immunity due to illness, severe blood loss, diseases of the cardiovascular system, low weight, children’s or old age. If there are risk factors in adverse weather conditions, it is necessary to avoid hypothermia of the body, and if this happens, as soon as possible, first aid should be provided for hypothermia.

  • Hypothermia symptoms
  • 2What to do with supercooling?
  • 3 First aid for hypothermia and frostbite
    • 3.1First help with general hypothermia
    • 3.2 First aid for frostbite
  • 4First help with frostbite and hypothermia: unacceptable actions

Hypothermia symptoms

hypothermia first aidBefore providing first aid for supercooling of the body, it is necessary to be able to distinguish between symptoms. Hypothermia is very easy to find out by the following features:

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

If at the first signs of hypothermia a person continues to be in the same environment, then other symptoms appear: cardiac arrhythmia, slow pulse, forgetfulness, shallow breathing, cyanosis of the skin, disorientation in space, severe tremors. At this stage, in no case can not succumb to severe sleepiness. With severe hypothermia, frostbite also occurs, and the person’s condition becomes critical. There is cardiac arrest, loss of consciousness, convulsions, nausea and vomiting, blood pressure becomes too low, normal brain activity is disrupted, pupils increase.

What to do with hypothermia?

what to do with supercoolingIf you feel that the state of the body is on the verge of hypothermia, and there is no way to wait for help, then you should know what to do when hypothermia:

  • The only salvation is movement. You can not stop on the road, if suddenly became sharply sleepy, sit down, let alone lie down.
  • If the nearest village or any crowded place is far away, you need to try to find a place protected from the wind, and kindle a fire.
  • Take a warm drink (but not alcohol!).
  • If you are thirsty, you should never eat snow or ice.
  • Light exercise, such as squats, will help to disperse the blood and warm the body.

what to do with hypothermiaIf you just froze on the street, when you hit home you need to take a warm bath, wipe the limbs with a cotton swab dipped in alcohol, take a warm drink, the best is sweet tea. If the state of health has not worsened, you should eat liquid warm food and take a horizontal position. If the state of health worsens, the arrhythmia or confusion of consciousness began, it is necessary to call the ambulance.

First aid for hypothermia and frostbite

help with hypothermiaFirst 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 mild, when the victim does not need emergency care, but the body temperature drops below normal, which is a signal for immediate response to avoid negative consequences.
At the same time, he feels chills, pale skin, but his consciousness is clear and his heart rate is not disturbed. First aid in case of supercooling of mild degree consists in delivering 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 water (up to 40 degrees) is added there until the victim’s body temperature rises to the normal value of 36.6. After that, it is wrapped in dry warm clothes and provide peace.
what to do with hypothermiaFirst aid in general supercooling of the second stage occurs when the victim has more severe symptoms: lethargy, drowsiness, speech confusion, indifferent perception of the surrounding world, pale skin, pulse slows down, coordination of movements is disturbed. Emergency assistance with such hypothermia is to warm the victim, taking hot drinks. In traveling conditions with you need to have an aspirin pill – it will help to 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 warmth of your body, while you need to remove your outer clothing from yourself and from it, so that the heat exchange takes place faster. The warming process lasts until a person’s well-being improves, then put dry, warm clothes on him. If conditions allow, it is possible to warm the victim with the help of hot water bottles, heating pads, heated bags, and a gradually warming bath.

first aid for hypothermiaHaving appeared in marching conditions, at overcooling of the third degree of gravity it is necessary to provide help immediately. This stage is characterized by depression of consciousness, a decrease in the level of reflexes, a slowing of the frequency of breathing and pulse. With such well-being, the body temperature drops to 25 degrees, when the swallowing reflex can disappear. In this case, in no case should you give the victim drink or food, you only need to warm your own heat. At the same time, a person needs to be turned on his side, and his pulse and breathing frequency must be constantly monitored so that primary care can be provided in a timely manner in the form of an indirect heart massage or artificial respiration.

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

First aid for frostbite

help with hypothermiaWhen the body is overcooled, open areas of the body can be frostbite. The degree of frostbite depends on the state of the tissues – from redness under the action of cold to necrosis. Frostbite of the face, neck, hands, fingers, legs most often occurs.

There are four degrees of frostbite:

  1. Redness of the skin, swelling at the place of frostbite, the appearance of swelling of the hands or feet, burning sensation, tingling.
  2. Circulatory disorders, fluid blistering, 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 first aid for hypothermiaIf the degree of frostbite is mild, there are no blisters and strong edema on the skin, you need to rub it with your hands or wool until redness. Do not rub if frostbite is 3 or 4 degrees. On the affected areas need to apply insulating bandages, fix. Simultaneously with these actions, first aid should be provided for hypothermia.

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

First aid for frostbite and hypothermia: unacceptable actions

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

  • Do not abruptly place the victim in a room with high air temperature, for example, equipped with heat guns or heated with oil radiators. The temperature should be room.
  • Do not use dry heat to the affected tissues.
  • Do not immerse the victim in a warm bath completely, it can cause cardiac arrest.
  • Do not give alcohol or caffeinated beverages.
  • You can not allow the victim to smoke.
  • Parts of the body damaged during frostbite should be fixed to avoid hemorrhage.
  • Do not lay the patient on a cold surface.

first aid for frostbite and hypothermiaIn addition, it is prohibited to rub the affected areas of the body, especially with snow, to warm up sharply, to grease with fat cream, ointment. Rubbing the body will cause cold blood to flow to the internal organs and the brain, while the body must be heated from the center to the periphery. Thus, a properly rendered first aid before frostbite and hypothermia will help save a person’s life.

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