Hypothermia

Hypothermia

 Andrew’s Note:  Like much of the nation we’ve been experiencing a cold snap recently so today’s survival lesson is an extract from FM 21-76-1, the U.S. Army manual on Survival, Evasion & Recovery June 1999, Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.  This extract deals with Treating Hypothermia until you can get the victim to proper medical care.  Stay warm!

Hypothermia

  • Cold WeatherIs a progressive injury.
    • •Intense shivering with impaired ability to perform complex tasks leads to—
    • ••Violent shivering, difficulty speaking, sluggish thinking go to—
    • •••Muscular rigidity with blue, puffy skin; jerky movements go to—
    • ••••Coma, respiratory and cardiac failure.
  • Protect victim from the environment as follows:
    • •Remove wet clothing.
    • •Put on dry clothing (if available).
    • •Prevent further heat loss.
    • ••Cover top of head.
    • ••Insulate from above and below.
    • •Warm with blankets, sleeping bags, or shelter.
  • •Warm central areas before extremities.
  • ••Place heat packs in groin, armpits, and around neck.
  • ••Avoid causing burns to skin.

CAUTION: Handle hypothermia victim gently.  Avoid overly rapid rewarming which may cause cardiac arrest. Rewarming of victim with skin-to-skin contact by volunteer(s) inside of a sleeping bag is a survival technique but can cause internal temperatures of all to drop.

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