How To Treat Hypothermia

hypothermiaHow to Assess and Treat Hypothermia
Hypothermia is a medical emergency occurring when a person’s body loses heat quicker than it can produce it. This results in a seriously low body temperature falling below 95 degrees F. In this state, the body’s nervous system, heart and other organs are unable to function properly and serious injury or death can occur. While hypothermia is usually caused by immersion in cold water or exposure to cold weather, it can also occur unexpectedly when temperatures aren’t extremely cold.
Hypothermia Symptoms
In Children and Adults:

  • Memory loss, confusion or slurred speech
  • Body temperature under 95 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Drowsiness or exhaustion
  • Shallow breathing
  • Numb feet or hands
  • Cold but unable to shiver

In Infants:

  • Very low energy
  • Cold and/or bright red skin

Treating Hypothermia
Hypothermia is a medical emergency that demands professional assistance. That said, there are some immediate steps you can take to improve a person’s chances of recovery.

  • Restore Warmth Slowly
    • Move the person to an indoor location.
    • Remove any wet clothing and use towels to dry the person if necessary.
    • Start by warming the person’s trunk, instead of the feet or hands, since the latter can cause shock.
    • Put dry clothes on the person and/or wrap him or her in blankets.
    • Don’t immerse the person in warm water, since rapid warming can lead to heart arrhythmia.
  • Begin CPR if necessary
    • If the person isn’t breathing normally, begin CPR and continue until emergency services arrive.
  • Administer Warm Fluids
    • If the person is conscious, provide a warm drink; however, avoid alcoholic or caffeinated beverages.
  • Maintain Body Temperature
    • Once the person’s body temperature starts to ascend, keep him or her dry.
    • Wrap the person’s neck and head if possible.

Get Help
Once you’ve taken immediate steps to improve the person’s condition, seek medical attention. Health care professionals will continue warming strategies and provide warm, moist oxygen and intravenous fluids.

Health News + Events

TikTok Health Hacks: Safe or Sham?

No matter your preferred social media channel, you’ve likely seen viral health hacks for everything from congestion to snoring to weight loss. We turned to our team of certified  Read More

How to Treat a Dog Bite

Dogs are undoubtedly man’s best friend, but even the friendliest of creatures can sometimes get spooked or display aggressive behavior. Bites can even happen when giving an excit  Read More

Top Health Concerns For Men

Did you know that the average man pays less attention to his health than the average woman? That’s according to Harvard Medical School, which also states that men are more likely  Read More

What Our Patients Are Saying

Rating 4.6
Rating 4.2
Rating 4.6
Rating 5.0

"The overall care I received was excellent! I also appreciate your affiliation with Yale New Haven Hospital."

Patient
Derby, CT

"Throughout the visit I felt like the staff really cared. The Doctor took his time talking with me about my symptoms, and I felt like he listened to all my concerns and took that into consideration when recommending the right treatment. Thank you!"

Patient
Hamden, CT

"I had to take my son in for an ear infection following a sudden change in temperament at daycare. He was inconsolable the entire car ride but when we got there and by the time we left this care facility he was back to his normal happy go lucky little two year old boy. I highly recommend PhysicianOne Urgent Care."

Patient
Westwood, MA

"I wanted to take a moment to thank you for the attention you gave me last week. My son was started on antibiotics and ear drops. Within 24 hours he began to feel better. The poor kid had been going to school in tears because he was afraid of missing any more days, but feeling (and looking) just awful! He's not been able to even think about lacrosse practice, but thanks to starting him on antibiotics, he was thrilled to return to practice today."

Patient
Somers, NY