Chilling effect: How to prevent hypothermia

gazzetta

By Dr. Manny Alvarez

Hypothermia is a condition defined as the profound cooling of the body core temperature to less than 96 degrees Fahrenheit. As our body temperature drops, the cooling effect has a significant impact on our senses. People with hypothermia become very disoriented; others develop hallucinations.

These conditions can produce atypical behavior, and often exacerbate the problem by interfering with a person’s judgment and ability to take care of themselves.

As the body temperature continues to drop, our heart rate becomes irregular, and without medical intervention, hypothermia ultimately results in death. Of course, the cooling effects take time, and our brain tries to slow the cooling effects with involuntary muscle contractions that manufacture heat. During this time, preventative measures to keep warm may just save your life.
Many people think that to get hypothermia, one needs to be exposed to extremely frigid temperatures. This is not true. The…

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