General hypothermia, methods of warming a frozen person in the field, actions in cases of severe cold damage.

Despite all the preventive safety measures, in the practice of accidents, there is often a general hypothermia of one or more victims. Unlike local cold lesions, when only the extremities or only the face froze, general hypothermia, if you do not provide timely help, can lead to quick and irreversible consequences. Subcooling in water is especially dangerous. 

General hypothermia, methods of warming a frozen person in the field, actions in cases of severe cold damage.

In mild cases of general freezing, victims can be advised to create thermal boxes from improvised materials. For example, inside a snow shelter, a fabric tent, in an extreme case, just on the street, roll up a plastic bag hut and light a candle or a dry fuel tablet there.

– maintain positive temperature. The victim must be undressed, laid on a heat-insulating litter and covered with cloth soaked in hot water, in extreme cases scarves, sweaters, etc., covering his head, neck, chest, abdomen, groin. The fabric should be changed to hot as it cools. Cooled tissue no longer warms a person, but, on the contrary, enhances hypothermia. At the same time, you can carefully massage, rub the limbs of the victim.

Raise your legs better to direct blood flow to the body and head. In providing assistance, one must act very smoothly and quickly. You can’t sit a frozen person close to a fire or heating devices. This only speeds up his death. With severe general hypothermia, heating of certain parts of the body is deadly! Heating should be uniform and gradual. For example, near the bonfire, the victim should be seated in a thermal cushion between the fire and the heat-reflecting screen, but so that he is not very hot, and, carefully rubbing and warming his own bodies with heat, gradually remove him from a dangerous state.

It is unacceptable to expect the end of the construction of a warm shelter or a bonfire. Help should not be provided when everything is prepared, but immediately and continuously. Already during the construction and preparation of fuel, it is necessary to cover the ground with a thick layer of heat insulator in a place protected from precipitation and wind, remove all clothing from the victim, wipe it dry and sit on its knees so that its back is in close contact with the chest of the person assisting. The fewer layers of clothing the bodies will separate, the larger the contact area will be, the more effective the warming will be..

It is even better to place the victim between the bodies of two healthy people, but so as not to impede his breathing. The victim and the people (or the person) providing first aid should be carefully wrapped on all sides with blankets, sleeping bags, clothes, protected from adverse climatic influences with the help of a plastic film, fabric. It must be remembered that a frozen person alone, without the receipt of heat from the outside, cannot warm himself, no matter how much warm clothing he is wearing. The following advice (I apologize in advance to the Puritan-minded reader) will not be quite decent. Why, probably, he was repeatedly cut out by the editors from the manuscript of the book.

When during the Second World War the deaths of sailors and pilots in the waters of the polar seas became widespread, the command of the German naval forces instructed military doctors to find the most effective way to resuscitate people who suffered from hypothermia. Doctors did not go north to the war zone, they dispersed to concentration camps and began to freeze and thaw prisoners of war, recording the frequency of successful and fatal outcomes.

A lot of medication and other methods of revitalization were tried. So: the best were recognized … street prostitutes. Two of them, with their naked bodies and professional actions, revived a frozen man much faster than all other means. They brought back to life those whom they could not resuscitate by any other means. I can not insist on the use of this method of warming as mandatory, but I consider myself obligated to talk about it, if only because it is most effective and available in emergency conditions.

And then … And then women decide. After the victim has warmed up and regained consciousness, he needs to be given hot sweet tea or coffee, and if there is no nausea and vomiting, feed him. Then provide complete rest in warmth, in a horizontal position, lasting at least a day. In the first few hours, next to the victim, it is advisable to lay a healthy person who can control his condition and warm.

Based on materials from the School of Survival in Natural Conditions.
Andrey Ilyin.

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