As soon as the injured or shipwrecked and rescuing people are on a lifeboat or raft, they must immediately begin to fight the cold, against hypothermia. If the rescue equipment is dry, then you need to remove the clothes and squeeze it. Woolen clothes are a great thermal insulator, even if they are wet. Therefore, woolen clothing should be worn directly on the naked body, and on top of it – cotton (or from other fabrics) clothing, previously wrung.
Methods of warming people in a state of hypothermia, assistance to victims extracted from cold water.
It should be remembered that the victim experiences a significant loss of heat while on the liferaft or in a boat with his head uncovered. Therefore, the head and neck should be well wrapped. Shoes need to be removed, as it impedes blood circulation in the legs. Socks should be worn halfway, i.e. the toes should be on the heels of the socks. This will also help maintain heat and protect against hypothermia..
, appropriate measures must be taken immediately to maintain heat. For this, it is best to use blankets and plastic wrap, if available on the rescue vehicle. It is necessary to hide with blankets, and on top of the film, which prevents heat transfer. If those in distress are on a liferaft, they should spread plastic wrap and blankets on the bottom..
Those fleeing on the same raft should snuggle up against each other. The feet of a comrade sitting opposite should be slipped under his clothes and leaned against his torso to warm them. Often during the period of autonomous swimming on life-saving appliances, the victim suffers from muscle cramps of the lower extremities and abdomen as a result of a long stay in a forced position and constant cooling. They are eliminated by energetic movements of the toes..
Help with overcooling by victims recovered from cold water on board.
Help with supercooling should be aimed primarily at the quickest restoration of the body temperature of the victim. The temperature of the various parts of the body and internal organs extracted from the water of the victim is not the same. The limbs, as a rule, have a lower temperature than the trunk and vital organs (brain, heart).
It is important to remember that those who have undergone hypothermia should be handled carefully. If the airway of the victim is free and his breathing is not disturbed, one should not be hasty in providing emergency care. Vigorous actions can lead to the fact that chilled blood from the periphery begins to actively enter the body. This will cause a further decrease in temperature in vital organs and can end tragically. Therefore, treat the victim with care and do not rub or massage his skin.
Raise the victim from cold water on board the vessel or rescue equipment if possible, in a horizontal position. It has been established that lifting a person in an upright position can lead to death as a result of cardiac arrest.
In the event that there are many victims, assistance is provided primarily to those who do not have a shiver, as they are in an extremely life-threatening condition. Being in cold water, the distressed loses a large amount of heat. This is accompanied by a significant energy consumption, which leads to a sharp drop in blood sugar. Externally, hypoglycemia can be manifested by loss of consciousness, convulsions, bad breath of acetone from the mouth.
Therefore, when assistance is given to a person who has undergone the damaging effects of the cold, he needs to be given a hot drink (tea, coffee, cocoa, etc.). However, you need to know that trying to give something to swallow to a person who is in an unconscious state is by no means impossible! This can lead to his death. The victim, extracted from the water, may lack breathing and cardiac activity. In this case, immediately begin resuscitation..
Warm bath as the most effective way to warm the victim of hypothermia.
The most effective way to warm the victim, if conditions allow, is a warm bath. The victim is placed in a warm bath, the water temperature in which is +36 degrees, and gradually, over 15–20 minutes, rises to 38–40 degrees. At this level, the water temperature is maintained until the warming up of the victim.
In the bath, the body is massaged with the help of soaped washcloths. At the same time, the temperature of the person being saved is constantly monitored. Warming up in the bath continues until the temperature reaches 35 degrees in the rectum. In most cases, this entire procedure takes about 1.5 hours. Observing the general condition of the victim, it is necessary to ensure that he does not choke, as the human consciousness may be confused or even absent.
It is unacceptable to warm in water, the temperature of which exceeds 40 degrees. This is due to the fact that the tissues subjected to cooling are very sensitive to overheating due to disturbances in the mechanisms of natural thermoregulation that arose in the process of cold damage. After providing assistance, the victim must be moved horizontally to a warm bed and fixed. Remember, if he is allowed to suddenly rise, he may die.
Slow warming of the victim of hypothermia in cold water.
In cases where it is not possible to place the victim in a warm bath, slow warming is used. The victim is wrapped in blankets and slowly warmed by his own heat. The blankets used for this should be made of good wool. Before use, they should not be heated on any heat source..
The specified procedure should be carried out in a room with a high temperature. It is advisable that the victim be stripped and wrapped in plastic wrap to prevent cooling from evaporation, and then he can already be wrapped in a blanket.
The procedure for assisting a victim of hypothermia should be as follows:
1. Lay the victim down and isolate from any external heat sources..
2. Strip him by cutting clothes with scissors or a knife.
3. Wrap the victim in plastic wrap.
4. Wrap it in woolen blankets.
5. Cover your head with your face open..
6. Organize ongoing monitoring of the victim..
7. After he regains consciousness, give a hot sweet drink.
The Royal Danish Royal Navy successfully applies the following effective method of warming a person who has suffered from hypothermia and is conscious:
1. The victim is placed in a reclining position and wrapped in blankets.
2. Immerse his hands and feet in water heated to 44 degrees.
3. After heating the limbs, they are also wrapped in blankets. This is very important, as the blood vessels from expansion are dilated and after the end of the procedure they will intensively give off heat, which can lead to a sharp overcooling of the body.
4. The victim is laid in a warm bed.
Some traditional methods of warming people in a state of hypothermia.
Now let us dwell on some traditional methods of warming people who are in a state of hypothermia – rubbing the body and drinking alcohol. It has now been proven that they not only do not contribute to the improvement of the condition, but, on the contrary, cause irreparable harm to the body.
So, when rubbing, the cooled blood from the periphery begins to flow intensively into the body, which causes a further decrease in the temperature of vital organs. Alcohol taken internally relaxes the spasmodic vessels of the extremities and enhances the movement of chilled blood into the body. Alcohol, in addition, acts depressingly on the central nervous system of a person.
Based on the book Encyclopedia of Survival at Sea.