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First Aid Treatment for Hypothermia

Important Information

  • Severe Hypothermia - Body temperature below 32o Celsius;

  • Mild Hypothermia - Body temperature below 34o Celsius;

A person suffering from severe hypothermia may be disoriented, confused, uncoordinated or completely unresponsive

A person suffering from mild hypothermia may be conscious and alert, yet shivering and displaying slightly impaired coordination

Treat hypothermia that alters a patient's consciousness or impairs their coordination as a medical emergency; Follow primary care procedures

A severely hypothermic patient may be breathing or have a pulse at such a low rate and intensity that it is difficult to detect; Therefore, resuscitation attempts should never be abandoned until the patient has been rewarmed

Patient Care; Severe Hypothermia

  • STOP - Assess and observe the scene; Has the patient been exposed to a cold environment?

  • THINK - Consider your safety and form action plan; Is there a warm, dry area nearby?

  • ACT - Check responsiveness and Alert EMS

  • Perform a primary and secondary assessment and monitor the patient's Cycle of Care AB-CABS

  • Do not move the patient unless it's necessary to prevent further heat loss; Handling may cause an irregular heartbeat

  • Remove wet clothing without jostling the patient and cover them with warm blankets or thick clothing

  • Continue to monitor the patient's Cycle of Care until EMS arrives; Monitor and record vital signs

Patient Care; Mild Hypothermia

  • Move the patient to a warm, dry sheltered area and wrap them in warm blankets or clothes

  • If they are wet provide them with dry clothing; Give warm, nonalcoholic, non caffeinated drinks

  • Continue to support the patient until completely rewarmed; Monitor and record vital signs