In Colorado, opportunities for winter fun are numerous. We want to take just a moment of your time to remind everyone to dress appropriately for the weather, and pay attention to your body and what it is telling you. Whether you are playing or working in the cold, remember that hypothermia is a very dangerous medical condition that requires immediate attention. Here is some info to help you recognize the symptoms, along with basic first aid measures you can take to help yourself or a co-worker, friend family member:
Hypothermia is a medical emergency that occurs when your body loses heat faster than it can produce heat, causing a dangerously low body temperature. Normal body temperature is around 98.6 F (37 C). Hypothermia (hi-poe-THUR-me-uh) occurs as your body temperature falls below 95 F (35 C).
When your body temperature drops, your heart, nervous system and other organs can't work normally. Left untreated, hypothermia can lead to complete failure of your heart and respiratory system and eventually to death.
Signs and symptoms of hypothermia include:
• Slurred speech or mumbling
• Slow, shallow breathing
• Weak pulse
• Clumsiness or lack of coordination
• Drowsiness or very low energy
• Confusion or memory loss
• Loss of consciousness
Someone with hypothermia usually isn't aware of his or her condition because the symptoms often begin gradually. Also, the confused thinking associated with hypothermia prevents self-awareness. The confused thinking can also lead to risk-taking behavior.
WHAT TO DO:
• Call for help
• Remove any wet clothes, hats, gloves, shoes, and socks.
• Protect the person against wind, drafts, and further heat loss with warm, dry clothes and blankets.
• Move gently to a warm, dry shelter as soon as possible.
• Begin rewarming the person with extra clothing. Use warm blankets. Other helpful items for warming are: an electric blanket to the torso area and hot packs and heating pad on the torso, armpits, neck, and groin; however, these can cause burns to the skin. Use your own body heat if nothing else is available.
• Take the person's temperature if a thermometer is available.
• Offer warm liquids, but avoid alcohol and caffeine, which speed up heat loss. Don't try to give fluids to an unconscious person.
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7265 Reynolds Drive
Sedalia, CO 80135