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Preventative Measures Against Hypothermia

Preventative Measures Against Hypothermia

Did you know that cold weather is especially risky for older people? Seniors tend to have a lower receptive response and can be unaware when their body is experiencing extreme cold. So they should take precautions even if they are only outside for a few minutes on colder days. The winter chill can reduce the temperature inside the body. That can prove to be fatal if not treated quickly. This loss in body temperature, often caused by staying in a cool place for too long, is called hypothermia. A body temperature below 35° C may seem like just a couple of degrees below the body’s normal temperature of 37°C. But it can be critical. It may cause an irregular heartbeat leading to heart problems and death. How can you tell if someone has hypothermia? Here are some signs to look for: Confusion or drowsiness Slowed, slurred speech, or shallow breathing A change in behavior during cold weather Excessive shivering-or no shivering Lessened control over body movements or slow reactions. If you think an older loved one could be experiencing hypothermia, take his or her temperature with a thermometer. If the temperature doesn’t rise above 35° C, call for emergency help. In many areas, that means calling 911. The person must be seen by a doctor and warmed from inside out. While you are waiting for help to arrive, keep the person warm and dry. Move them to the warmest location available. Wrap the person in blankets, towels, coats, whatever is handy and accessible. Even your own body warmth will help. Lie close, but be gentle. Note; rubbing a person’s...
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