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Identifying and Responding to the Signs of Hypothermia

6 months ago

When exposed to very cold temperatures, the human body can lose heat faster than it is produced, resulting in a dangerously low core body temperature known as hypothermia.

While more likely to occur in cold weather, hypothermia can develop even when temperatures are cool if a person becomes chilled. Understanding the basics of this potentially fatal condition is critical for prevention and prompt treatment.

Normally, the human body maintains a temperature around 98.6° Fahrenheit (37° Celsius).

Hypothermia sets in when core temperature falls below 95° F. Severe hypothermia occurs at 82° F or lower, when the heart, brain, and other organs begin to fail and the victim may be unaware anything is wrong.

The body initially tries to generate heat by shivering and reducing blood flow to the skin and extremities. However, prolonged chilling overwhelm these efforts.



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