Boating Tips

Medical Tips: The highs and lows of hypothermia

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Capsizing at sea can become a dire situation very quickly if the necessary cold water gear is not available to those in trouble. Thousands of people die annually from hypothermia brought on by cold water. Hypothermia is defined as a core body temperature of 35°C and below.

Symptoms of Hypothermia

Mild hypothermia is indicated by mental confusion and shivering, moderate hypothermia occurs when the shivering stops and confusion increases. Severe hypothermia can often cause complete delusions with increased risk of heart failure and the shutting down of organs.

Treating Hypothermia

Treating mild hypothermia requires giving the patient warm drinks, warm clothes and getting them to do physical activity to increase blood flow. With moderate and severe cases of hypothermia, the patient should be moved gently, along with giving them warm clothes. The patient should be warmed until their body temperature is safely above 35°C.

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