Tag Archives: Hypothermia

Hypothermia and What you Need to Know to Stay Alive

I live in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and every year people get lost and die in the winter.  Normally they are not properly equipped and die from hypothermia.  They drive to the snow in their nice warm car and go out to play on a sunny day, when it seems to be deceptively warm.  They end up straying of the trails and night sneaks up on them.  Without warm clothing, a way to start a fire, food or water, and no survival training, they succumb to hypothermia.

The human body temperature is usually maintained at a constant level of 97.7–99.5 …

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Hypothermia, How to Dress to Avoid It

avoid hypothermia

Many years ago, I spent a winter at a military base near Chicago.  The wind from the Great Lakes made the place miserable, often the wind chill was below zero.  Every morning we had to get up and march to chow in the dark.  We did not have good cold weather gear and put on everything we had.  We did not have long underwear.  Our dress consisted of fatigues, field jacket with liner, and a cotton hat.  We would then put on our heavy dress overcoat and use a towel for a scarf.  We just had thin leather gloves and no decent headgear. …

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The Treatment of Hypothermia

Hypothermia is when your body loses heat faster than it can produce heat, resulting in a dangerously low body temperature.  The normal body temperature is approximately 98.6° F (37° C).  Hypothermia occurs as your body temperature passes below 95° F (35° C).

When your body temperature drops, your heart, nervous system and other organs will not function correctly.  Untreated, hypothermia eventually leads to the complete failure of your heart and respiratory system and to death.  Signs include.

  • shivering
  • exhaustion
  • confusion
  • slurred speech
  • memory loss
  • fatigue
  • loss of motor control (fumbling hands)

Hypothermia is often caused by exposure to cold weather or immersion in a cold body of water. …

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Avoiding Hypothermia

I live in a mountainous area.  Every year I hear of deaths caused from hypothermia that would have not occurred if the right clothing had been worn.  This is a lack of planning.

In cold weather, wear multi layers.  They should start with a good base of long underwear. Avoid the cheap cotton long underwear sold in the discount houses.  Fleece, polypropylene, or wool retains most of their insulating properties when wet.  They are the best choices.  Cotton loses its ability to insulate when wet.

You should have a good intermediate layer.  This should consist of a shirt and pair of pants made from fleece, polypropylene, or wool.  …

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