Hypothermia, which is caused by a low body temperature, can quickly become life-threatening. If a patient is wet and extremely cold, heat loss can occur. Thin people and infants can become dangerously hypothermic in minutes rather than hours.
Hypothermia symptoms include:
- Shivering and cold feelings
- Clumsiness and disorientation
- General perplexity and forgetfulness
- Slow heartbeat and slurred speech
- Breathing is shallow
- Blood pressure that is too low
The first stages of frostbite are described by the Mayo Clinic as frostnip, which irritates the skin but does not cause severe damage. Frostbite, on the other hand, occurs when the skin becomes numb, hard, and pale. Slowly warming the hands can help restore normalcy to exposed areas. Severe frostbite, on the other hand, necessitates medical attention.
Severe frostbite symptoms include:
- Prickly, itchy, or burning skin
- Muscle and joint stiffness
- Dizziness and aching
The National Institutes of Health reports that 90 percent of frostbite injuries occur on the hands and feet. Frostbite symptoms can appear years later if the same areas are exposed to extreme cold, causing phantom pain, which is usually caused by nerve damage. Smoking and drinking alcohol can make you more susceptible to frostbite.
According to the National Safety Council, the first step is to get the victim out of the cold. If sticking and frostbite have occurred, place dry gauze between the toes and fingers. Place the affected area in warm water between 100 and 105 degrees Fahrenheit, but first test the water. Rewarming can take anywhere between 20 and 45 minutes.
The council also suggests placing insulation beneath and around the victim, such as blankets, pillows, and towels. Check that the head is covered and that the clothing is dry. If hypothermia occurs, keep the victim in a horizontal position.
Because so much can go wrong during the winter months, now is an excellent time to consider the advantages of obtaining a life insurance policy to protect your home and family.