Hypothermia

Hypothermia

As many as 85 percent of outdoor recreation fatalities are caused by hypothermia.  Hypothermia is a rapid, progressive, physical and mental collapse due to chilling of the body.  Hypothermia is greatly intensified by wetness, wind, exhaustion and hunger.

Symptoms

Watch for early signs in your companions!  Victims are usually not aware of their hypothermia.

Normal Body temp: 98.6° F
[Graphic]: black down arrow
  • Stuttering.
  • Uncontrolled shivering and unreasonable behavior.
  • Reduced mental awareness, incoherent speech.
  • Reduced muscle coordination, slurred speech, stiffness and stumbling walk.
  • Shivering may stop.
  • Stupor.
  • Death-like coma.
  • Death.
Body temp: 81.0° F

To Treat Hypothermia

  • Actively, but gently re-warm the victim.
  • Get the victim out of wind, rain and cold.
  • Move to a campfire or inside a dry sleeping bag.
  • Give the victim hot drinks (no caffeine or alcohol).
  • Remove wet clothes, if possible.

To Prevent Hypothermia

  • Avoid skiing or snowmobiling alone.
  • Regulate your body temperature, avoid sweating.
  • Dress properly, layer clothing for changing weather conditions.
  • Carry extra food and additional clothing (avoid cotton, wool or fleece is best) for emergencies.
  • Avoid exposure to rain and wind.
  • Avoid fatigue by periodic rest.
  • Prevent dehydration - consume liquids.

The Cooling Power of Wind Speed

Expressed as "Equivalent Chill Temperature"
mph Temperature
Calm 40 30 20 10 5 0 -10 -20 -30
Equivalent Chill Temperature
5 35 25 15 5 0 -5 -15 -25 -35
10 30 15 5 -10 -15 -20 -35 -45 -60
15 25 10 -5 -20 -25 -30 -45 -60 -70
20 20 5 -10 -25 -30 -35 -50 -65 -80
25 15 0 -15 -30 -35 -45 -60 -75 -90
35 10 -5 -20 -35 -40 -50 -65 -80 -100
40 10 -5 -20 -35 -45 -55 -70 -85 -100
Danger Increasing Danger Great Danger




https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/ltbmu/learning/safety-ethics/?cid=FSM9_046583