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Thread: Treating hypothermia

  1. #1 Treating hypothermia 
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    How would you best treat hypothermia in a situation where you had minimal things available to you? That is to say you have no high tech medical gear and only things that would be in a backpack if lost in the wilderness on a day trip.


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  3. #2  
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    You need to get dry if wet, you need to get out of the wind if there is a wind chill, if you are in company then the bodyheat of the other person can be used to help warm you up. if you only have a backpack you may have enough to start a fire.

    Essentially the first step in treating any hypothermia is to seperate the victim from the cause, then begin a controlled 're-heat'.

    So 1) stop the heat loss and 2) reverse it (with great care).


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  4. #3  
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    It is my understanding that if heated quickly on the extremities and especially if consuming hot fluids then this could cause severe damage or even death. If this is true then is there some rule of thumb on reversing the heat loss?
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  5. #4  
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    I think the reason for that is:

    When hypothremia sets in blood circulation is diverted to the head and torso, blood for the limbs is severely restricted. If you suddenly fool the sytem and warm the (exterior skin) of the limbs this may fool the system into thinking it can turn all the taps on again, this would then send cool blood from the limbs to the brain and vital organs (already cooler than is healthy) and thereby reduce the temp below that or survivability.

    THis is from purely my knowledge as a first aider combined with a bit of thermodynamics, it could be all bollocks so treat it as a hypothesis only, look at treating hypothermia on the net and see if you can find another explanation.

    As to rebuilding, it is as I said, halt the loss of heat, then gently re-warm the individual, sitting by a fire, bodily contact with another human.

    If I have not been able to directly answer your question I hope at least I have put you on the right path.
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