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    First Aid & Emergencies

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    Hypothermia Treatment

    1. Call 911 if you suspect hypothermia

    Symptoms of hypothermia in adults and children include:

    • Confusion, memory loss, or slurred speech
    • Drop in body temperature below 95 Farenheit
    • Exhaustion or drowsiness
    • Loss of consciousness
    • Numb hands or feet
    • Shallow breathing
    • Shivering

    In infants, symptoms include:

    • Bright red, cold skin
    • Very low energy level

    2. Restore Warmth Slowly

    • Get the person indoors.
    • Remove wet clothing and dry the person off, if needed.
    • Warm the person's trunk first, not hands and feet. Warming extremities first can cause shock.
    • Warm the person by wrapping him or her in blankets or putting dry clothing on the person.
    • Do not immerse the person in warm water. Rapid warming can cause heart arrhythmia.
    • If using hot water bottles or chemical hot packs, wrap them in cloth; don't apply them directly to the skin.

    3. Begin CPR, if Necessary, While Warming Person

    If the person is not breathing normally:

    • Continue CPR until the person begins breathing or emergency help arrives.

    4. Give Warm Fluids

    • Give the person a warm drink, if conscious. Avoid caffeine or alcohol.

    5. Keep Body Temperature Up

    • Once the body temperature begins to rise, keep the person dry and wrapped in a warm blanket. Wrap the person's head and neck, as well.

    6. Follow Up

    • At the hospital, health care providers will continue warming efforts, including providing intravenous fluids and warm, moist oxygen.

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by David T. Derrer, MD on September 12, 2015

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