Hypothermia

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : May 26, 2022, 10:30

When there is a dangerous drop in body temperature due to prolonged exposure to cold temperature, it causes Hypothermia. We can also say that Hypothermia is a medical emergency when our body loses heat faster, resulting in dangerously low body temperature. It occurs when the body temperature falls below 95 degrees F.

As a result of the dropping temperature, our nervous system and other organs start working slowly and abnormally. It may also lead to complete failure of the heart and respiratory system and eventually death.

Causes of Hypothermia

Given below are the significant causes of Hypothermia:

  • One of the major causes of this disease is cold exposure. When there is an imbalance between heat production and heat loss causes Hypothermia.
  • Body without enough warm and dry clothes exposure may also cause this disease. Hypothermia also depends on a person's age, body mass, body fat, overall health and amount of time exposed to cold temperatures.
  • Other causes which cause Hypothermia are medical conditions such as thyroid, diabetes, use of drugs and large intake of alcohol.

Major risk factors of Hypothermia

One of the significant risk factors of Hypothermia include:

  • Infants and senior citizens do not adopt proper food, heating and clothing.
  • Individuals with mental illness.
  • People who stay outside of the home for long periods.
  • People whose judgement is impaired by drugs and alcohol in the cold seasons.

Temperature ranges for Hypothermia

Given below is an average temperature range of severity of Hypothermia:

  • Mild Hypothermia temperature range: 90-95 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Moderate Hypothermia temperature range: 82-90 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Severe Hypothermia temperature range: Lower than 82 degrees Fahrenheit

Treatment for Hypothermia

Some significant ways of treatment for Hypothermia are:

You should not ignore the symptoms of Hypothermia and consult a doctor as soon as possible. Some ways by which you can reduce the effect of Hypothermia are:

  • Removal of wet clothes, gloves, shoes, hats, and socks.
  • Stay away from wind and rain and prevent heat loss from the body.
  • Try to stay in a warm shelter.
  • Rewarm your body with some extra clothes. You can even try some heating pads and electric heaters to warm the body.
  • Try to measure the exact temperature by using the thermometer.
  • Consume some warm liquids.

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Symptoms of Hypothermia

Given below are the significant symptoms of Hypothermia are:

  • Shivering
  • Lack of coordination
  • Slurred speech
  • Shallow breathing
  • Mumbling
  • Slow breathing
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Bright red, cold skin (in infants)
  • Clumsiness
  • Memory loss
  • Weak pulse
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How does our body lose heat?

Following are some ways in which our body loses heat -

Radiation: Most of the heat is lost from the uncovered areas of the body through radiation.

Contact: If a person is connected with a cold surface or body, then heat is drawn away from the body.

Wind: Wind also helps in the heat loss from the body. It takes away a tiny layer of warm air from the skin's surface.

Recognition of symptoms of Hypothermia is the first step toward its treatment. A specialised thermometer that can measure very low temperatures is present in hospitals for Hypothermia patients.

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FAQs on Hypothermia

Q1. What is Hypothermia?

When there is a dangerous drop in body temperature due to prolonged exposure to cold temperature, it causes Hypothermia.

Q2. During the Hypothermia, Through which processes does the body lose heat?

During the Hypothermia, the body loses heat in these processes given below -

  • Radiation
  • Contact
  • Wind

Q3. What are some ways of treatment for Hypothermia?

some ways of treatment for Hypothermia are -

  • Removal of wet clothes, gloves, shoes, hats, and socks.
  • Stay away from wind and rain and prevent heat loss from the body.

Q4. How do measure the body temperature in Hypothermia?

A specialised thermometer that can measure very low temperatures is present in hospitals for patients with Hypothermia.