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
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, start CPR immediately. Hypothermia causes respiratory rates to plunge, and a pulse might be difficult to detect.
- For a child, start CPR for children.
- For an adult, start adult CPR.
- 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.