Learning Intention: To equip you with the knowledge to avoid, recognise and treat mild hypothermia.
Success Criteria: By the end of this session everyone should be able to: Describe what steps to take to avoid, recognise and treat mild hypothermia in a wilderness environment. Some of you may be able to: Recognise and treat severe hypothermia.
Activities: 1.Discussion/Powerpoint: - What is hypothermia? - What can you do to avoid it? - How should you treat it? 2. Scenario
Stage 1: The Cold Response The body’s normal response to a cold challenge: – Blood is shunted from the periphery (e.g. feet, hands, ears, nose, skin) to the core; – Mild shivering; – Fine motor function (e.g. movement of fingers) may be impaired; – Increased urination.
What to do if you are feeling cold Add more clothing layers (Heat Retention) Get into shelter (Heat Retention) Increase fluid/fuel intake (Heat Production) Increase exercise (Heat Production) EASILY DEALT WITH IF RECOGNISED EARLY.
Stage 2: MILD HYPOTHERMIA – THE BODY’S ABILITY TO RESPOND TO COLD IS OVERWHELMED – The onset of mild hypothermia is a field emergency, indicating a significant drop in core temperature has already occurred.
MILD HYPOTHERMIA Treatment Shelter from wind and moisture Remove wet clothes & replace with dry. Body to body contact may be helpful Insulate from the ground or snow Take in fluids (warm drinks) Take in Calories Exercise to increase heat production only once above completed.
Stage 3: SEVERE HYPOTHERMIA This is a true medical emergency (but should not happen if dealt with early in Stage 1/2) The patient has lost all ability to fight the cold. Rescue efforts should be directed to preventing further heat loss and immediate evacuation.
SEVERE HYPOTHERMIA Shivering stops Unconsciousness Apparent death Death