Hypothermia is a big killer in field operations. Prevention is key. Dressing in layers and avoiding clothing such as cotton (especially wearing blue jeans) and wearing clothing items like wool will help. Now we all know the basics of how to treat hypothermia and cold weather injuries. Things get complicated when you are dealing with >2hrs until Advanced Life Support (Paramedic Unit or Higher)
Swiss Hypothermia Classification:
- HT I—clear consciousness with shivering: 35°C to 32°C
HT II—impaired consciousness without shivering: 32°C to 28°C
HT III—unconscious: 28°C to 24°C
HT IV—apparent death: 24°C to 13.7°C
HT V—death as a result of irreversible hypothermia: <13.7°C? (<9°C?)
Cold Water Rescue: http://youtu.be/Wz3gy5XyaBo
Now once someone is wet or has become hypothermic the key is to do a hypowrap. First off remove all wet clothing. What is a Hypowrap? It is a tarp, Sleeping Pad, emergency mylar blanket, wool blanket or sleeping bag all wrapped up like a burrito. Here is a video demonstration.
Carefully rewarm. There is a condition called Afterdrop. Meaning the problem with severe hypothermia in an out of hospital area is that your body shunts blood to maintain your core body temperature. Thus peripheral circulation decreases. When you rewarm the cold blood from your extremities hits your heart it can cause irritation in your heart causing fatal dysthymia
So DO NOT have a severe Hypothermia patient: Walk, Exercise, warm showers or baths, massage or use small chemical heat packs.
Heated Humidified Oxygen
Have an AED or Cardiac Monitoring in place.
Body to body rewarming (no homo)
NO ONE IS DEAD UNTIL THEY ARE WARM AND DEAD!
*Unless they are minus a head, frozen airway, snow or ice in airway.
Futher information can be found here.
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