Hypothermia occurs when the body’s internal temperature drops below 35 degrees Celsius.
Hypothermia can occur in any situation wherein the body loses more heat than it can generate.
In saying that, hypothermia generally occurs when a person experiences prolonged exposure to cold weather conditions or cold water.
It is important to know first aid for hypothermia, as severe hypothermia can result in multiple organ failure and even death.
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The average normal body temperature is generally accepted as 37 degrees Celsius.
According to Gizmodo, at 37 degrees Celsius, our body is warm enough to prevent fungal infections, but not so warm that we need to eat constantly to maintain our metabolism.
Our body produces heat through metabolic processes in the muscles and organs, when food is broken down to account for our growth, repair, and energy needs.
The hypothalamus, the part of the brain that links the endocrine and nervous systems, works alongside other parts of the body’s thermoregulation system to maintain this optimal temperature.
However, when a person is in an environment that has a lower temperature than their body, they begin losing heat through the skin via conduction, convection, radiation, and evaporation.
These processes generally occur faster in cold environments or inclement weather, as skin loses heat more quickly when exposed to wind or moisture.
As the person’s body temperature drops, the muscles and organs that produce the most heat, such as the heart and liver, cease functioning normally to preserve heat for the brain.
As such, if a person suffering from hypothermia is not given immediate medical attention, their heart and respiratory systems can falter to the point of death.
Check out the video below for more information on how to provide first aid for hypothermia:
For more information on how to prevent, identify, and manage symptoms, head to a first aid course near you.
The following first aid courses may be pertinent to you: