Hypothermia is defined as the body’s failure to maintain a temperature of 36 degrees C (97 degrees F).
Exposure to cool or cold temperature over a short or long time can cause hypothermia.
Those who are planning on ice-fishing or doing other cold weather activities should be prepared to treat themselves and others for hypothermia.
Dehydration and lack of food or rest predispose the survivor to hypothermia.
Unlike heatstroke, you must gradually warm the hypothermia victim. Get the victim into dry clothing.
Replace lost fluids, and warm them.
Treatment for severe hypothermia requires a more complicated process and lots of attention.
Maintain the body temperature of victims of severe hypothermia. Improper warming can create a condition called metabolic acidosis that can cause shock and heart failure. Warming should only be preformed in these states by a medical facility.
The critical thing when a person has severe hypothermia is to be gentle with them. Sudden or rough movements, forcing them to move or walk can pull very cold blood from the extremities into the warmer core that can cause shock. You need to be gentle and supportive. Rubbing the skin, moving of the joints should be avoided. This causes more harm than good.
In severe hypothermia, the best hypothermia treatment is best for three people to get under a pile of blankets or in a sleeping bag. Skin on skin contact of the torso works best with a person on each side of the victim. You should ignore their pleas to be left alone or allowed to go to sleep, but be gentle with them.
You should not administer fluids or make any other attempts to increase body temperature.
Maintaining temperature and preventing further loss is the most important thing.
If a person becomes unconscious from hypothermia monitor their breathing and pulse carefully.
Summon an Emergency Response Team.
If you can detect a faint pulse do not do CPR to support their heart. Only start rescue breathing, chest compressions or full CPR if you cannot detect any breathing, any pulse or both. Check frequently to see if they start breathing on their own, even if it is shallow, the same for a pulse.
Administering CPR to someone, even someone with a slight pulse can cause his or her heart to stop.
Remember, make all efforts to keep them alive until help arrives, they have been warmed and declared dead. People have recovered in morgues from hypothermia and have had profoundly low body temperatures and still recover.
Never give up hope with a hypothermia victim that does not have any other serious medical complications (like severe injuries from a fall or extreme altitude sickness).