Be Prepared for Hypothermia

hypothermiaThe weather is changing and it’s always good to be prepared for Cold-Related Emergencies such as Hypothermia.

Hypothermia is where your body loses heat faster than it can produce heat by staying too long in cold or wet conditions causing a dangerously low body temperature.  It can become a medical emergency if not treated properly and quickly.

Some signs of low body temperature in a person can include:

  • Skin that is cool to the touch
  • Shivering
  • Confusion
  • Personality change
  • Sleepiness
  • A person’s lack of concern about his condition
  • Stiff, rigid muscles
  • Skin that becomes ice cold and looks blue

If you suspect that a person has Hypothermia follow these steps:

  • Make sure the scene is safe for you and the person who has hypothermia.
  • Get the person out of the cold if possible.
  • Remove the wet clothing, pat the person dry, and cover with a blanket. (Some First aid kits include an emergency blanket)
  • Get the First Aid kit and AED (Automated External Defibrillator)
  • Phone 911
  • Put dry clothes on the person.  Cover the body and head, but not the face, with blankets, towels, or even newspapers.
  • Remain with the person until someone with more advanced training arrives and takes over.
  • If the person becomes unresponsive and is not breathing normally give CPR.

Remember as a person’s body temperature continues to drop it may be hard to tell if the person is still breathing. The person may become unresponsive and even appear to be dead.  If this happens start CPR immediately and call 911.

It is always a good idea to update your skills and practice by taking a class.  CPR Choice offers many CPR & First Aid classes in the Denver area including the Front Range and Colorado Springs.  Visit for a calendar of available classes or for a group please call 865-548-1500.