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Cold Temperature Exposure - Check Your Symptoms

Call 911 if a person is very confused, stumbles a lot, or faints, and you suspect hypothermia.

Call a doctor if:

  • The person's temperature is still below 96°F after 2 hours of warming.
  • The victim is a child or an older adult. It is a good idea to call even if the symptoms seem mild.
  • The skin is white or blue, and hard, rubbery, and cold. These are signs of severe frostbite. You need careful rewarming and antibiotics to prevent permanent tissue damage and infection.
  • Blisters form. Do not break them. The risk of infection is very high.
  • You have signs of infection. These may include increased pain, swelling, warmth, or redness; red streaks leading from the area; pus; and fever.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: November 14, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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