How to prevent hypothermia while camping? Hypothermia is a condition in which the human body’s temperature drops significantly below normal. Our bodies emit heat out through the skin and lose it to evaporation as the rain on our or wind dries sweat skin, even while we sleep. Under typical circumstances, that is not an issue because our bodies thermoregulate and make heat to maintain a stable temperature. If we lose heat faster than we can create it, our body temperature begins to drop. Hypothermia is the result.
Recognizing And Treating Hypothermia
Most individuals who suffer from hypothermia recover with timely treatment. Know the warning signs and actions to take before going outside so that you can avoid a catastrophe. When nature is against you, staying warm enough to maintain your core body temperature at a sufficient level may be difficult. It is not difficult to come up with an instance when it would be tough to keep warm if a terrible sequence of events occurred, especially if you live in a chilly or wet climate zone of the world.
How To Prevent Hypothermia
When it comes to hypothermia prevention, the Mayo Clinic recommends using COLD as an acronym. Cover, overexertion, layers, and dry are all part of the acronym.
Cover: Mittens, gloves, hats, scarves, and ski masks all aid in the retention of body heat. According to their website, these items are not toys or decorations; they’re meant to keep you warm. People typically lose the majority of their body heat from their heads because we are generally covered save for our heads. Because we allow it to escape where we can see it, this is what happens. So do not let it happen!
Overexertion: When you sweat a lot in the cold, you are burning a lot of calories and becoming damp. Once we stop, this perspiration will rapidly freeze us. As a result, do not get too sweaty.
Layers: The idea of layers has been thoroughly researched and understood and for good reason. Layers are effective. The first layer protects you from moisture, the second layer keeps you warm, and the outer layer prevents water and wind from entering your body.
Dry: When we get wet, however, the rate at which we cool is considerably greater than if we were dry. If you have no way of warming up or drying off after getting wet in the winter, it basically means death. Keep your hands and feet especially dry.
When To Perform CPR
If the person is breathing and has a pulse, regardless of how slow it may be, do not start CPR, since this might result in the heart going into ventricular fibrillation. What to do next depends on your circumstances if there is no sign of a pulse or breathing after one minute:
- If you’re alone or with just one other person, cover the hypothermic individual and transport him to a safe haven (lay insulation beneath and on top of him). For safety’s sake, both rescuers should go for help while remaining together.
- Begin CPR if there are numerous caregivers, it is safe to stay with the victim, and more than one person is administering aid. Begin chest compressions at a half-speed (halved). At least two people should go for help and stick together for safety’s sake.
- If the individual can be readily removed from the backcountry in an improvised stretcher, rescue workers may choose to do so while providing CPR as effectively as possible.
Do not presume a severely hypothermic person is dead until his body has been adequately warmed and there are no indications of life. It is conceivable, albeit uncommon, that a person who does not have perceptible signs of life will recover when rewarmed.
Mild Hypothermia Treatment
- After shaking, move the individual to a warm environment.
- Replace damp clothing with dry, insulating attire.
- To raise the core temperature to 10°F, give the person warm food and a lot of sweet hot beverages (an average-size adult requires about 60 kilocalories of heated drinks or approximately 2 quarts of very sugary liquids like drink mixes).
- To keep the person warm, wrap them in a plastic bag, sleeping bag, or tarp. Huddling with the individual in a sleeping bag will assist to minimize heat loss.
- Back away from the temptation to use heat packs or hot water bottles. They can put a stop to the body’s shaking mechanism, and they provide only a little amount of warmth to the body core. Bring the water to a boil and have the individual breathe in the steam, or build a fire instead.
Profound hypothermia occurs when the core body temperature falls beneath 90°F.
- The person grows weary and exhausted.
- The person is in an altered mental state (is disoriented, perplexed, aggressive, irrational, or comatose).
- The individual is uncoordinated.
- Once the body temperature drops below the 87°F, shivering stops.
- When core body temperature is reduced below 86°F, the patient’s heart pumps less than two-thirds of the normal quantity of blood. The rate at which they pulse and breathe is halved.
- When the core temperature drops below 83°F, the heart becomes irritable and dangerous to maintain. Cardiac arrest is imminent. Rough handling of the patient raises the incidence of cardiac arrest.
To check if someone is developing extreme hypothermia, give them the opportunity to walk a straight line, heel-to-toe, as in a sobriety test. If the individual cannot accomplish this activity and is not under the influence of alcohol or drugs, it indicates that he or she has moved from moderate to serious hypothermia.
Profound Hypothermia Treatment
Treatment in the backcountry is intended to stabilize the patient and prevent additional cooling.
- Handle the individual with delicate care. Rough treatment may induce his heart to stop beating.
- Place the individual in a sleeping bag or cover him with blankets or clothing. It’s unlikely that any heat you can offer will be able to rewarm the person, but it will assist in preventing his temperature from falling any further.
- Because of the risk of choking or vomiting, a person with a significant mental change should not be allowed to eat or drink.
- Because of the risks involved with severe hypothermia, recuperation is best done in a hospital. To remove a severely hypothermic person, professional assistance is frequently required.
Caution: First-aid management of hypothermic patients should be done without relying only on measurements of body temperature since obtaining an accurate temperature in the field is frequently difficult.
It might be difficult to tell whether someone is severely hypothermic or dead. A barely perceptible pulse and breathing may be seen in a profoundly hypothermic individual. Check for a carotid pulse by feeling carefully around both sides of the neck. Check this for at least one minute because the heart rate may be very low. Place a glass or plastic surface near the person’s mouth to see whether it fogged up.