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Cold Related Emergencies. Factors That Promote Susceptibility To Cold. Unfit (conflicting) >50 years and small children Alcohol and caffeine consumption Use of tobacco products Previous cold related emergency Inactivity in cold. Cold Factors #2. Dehydration Nutrition Illness Injury

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Cold Related Emergencies

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Cold related emergencies l.jpg

Cold Related Emergencies


Factors that promote susceptibility to cold l.jpg

Factors That Promote Susceptibility To Cold

  • Unfit (conflicting)

  • >50 years and small children

  • Alcohol and caffeine consumption

  • Use of tobacco products

  • Previous cold related emergency

  • Inactivity in cold


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Cold Factors #2

  • Dehydration

  • Nutrition

  • Illness

  • Injury

  • Wind

  • Wet clothing (transfers heat from the body)


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Proper Clothing

  • 3 layers of clothing

    • Purpose is to insulate by trapping layers of air

    • A single heavy layer is not recommended


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Additional Considerations

  • Cap

    • 50-60% of body’s heat is lost through the head

  • Neck

    • Site of significant heat loss

    • Gloves / Boots


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Cold Related Emergencies

  • Hypothermia

  • Frostbite


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Hypothermia

  • Core body temperature of 95 or less

  • May be mild or profound (<90 degrees)

    • Core temperature of 80 degrees usually results in death

    • Can occur in temps above 32 degrees

  • Medical emergency

    • Victim may present with no heartbeat, breathing, or response to touch or pain, but may not be dead

  • All victims should be evaluated by a physician


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Mild Hypothermia

  • Body temperature 90 to 95 degrees

    • (marathon)

  • Shivering

  • Slurred speech

  • Memory lapses

  • Fumbling hands

  • May stumble or stagger

  • Usually conscious and can talk

  • Cold abdomen and back


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Profound Hypothermia

  • Body temperature below 90 degrees (AR hunter)

  • Shivering has ceased

  • Muscles stiff and rigid

  • Skin appears blue

  • No response to pain

  • Pulse and respirations slowed

  • Pupils dilate / Victim “appears dead” / 50-80% will die

  • Child in Canada, winter 2001, core body temp. 60


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Hypothermia: What To Do

  • Stop heat loss (more on next slide)

  • Call EMS

  • RESCUEEXAMINEINSULATETRANSPORT

  • Check ABC’s

    • Take pulse for 30-45 seconds

  • Always try to re-warm in a hospital


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Hypothermia: Stop Heat Loss

  • Remove from cold environment

  • Use blankets, towels, pillows, newspapers to wrap around victim

  • Cover head

  • Replace wet clothing


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Hypothermia: Handling The Victim

  • Gentle handling

    • Roughness could cause cardiac arrest

  • Keep victim horizontal

    • Elevating legs would shunt cold blood to the core of the body

  • Victim should not walk or exercise - do not massage the body

    • These actions could drive cold blood into the torso resulting in temperature after-drop


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Hypothermia

  • Controversial:

    • Body to body contact

    • Warm drinks

  • Do not consume un-melted snow and ice

    • Lowers body temperature

    • Sometimes, that’s your only choice


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Hypothermia and CPR

  • Do not start CPR if:

    • Body temperature 60 degrees or below

    • Frozen chest

    • Lethal injury

    • Rescurer is endangered

    • Always take pulse for 30-45 seconds


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Frostbite (frozen tissue)

  • Freezes deep into the skin

  • Mainly affects feet, hands, ears, nose


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Frostbite: How Damage Occurs

  • Freezing of tissue

    • Ice crystals form between tissue cells

  • Obstruction of blood supply to tissues

    • “Sludged” blood clots form

    • More damaging than ice crystals


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Frostbite: Signs and Symptoms (pre-thaw)

  • White, waxy or grayish-yellow skin

  • Pain followed by no feeling

  • Affected part is very cold or numb

  • Hard or crusty skin

    • Post-thaw resembles burn stages


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First Aid: Re-warming

  • 1. Medical center

  • 2. Rapid (wet) re-warming:

    • Preferred re-warming method outside of hospital setting in water temperatures around 103 to 105.

  • 3. Slow re-warming:

    • involves warming body to body, arm pit, etc.

  • Do not re-warm with a heating-pad, stove or over a fire


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Rapid Re-Warming

  • NEVER RUB FROZEN TISSUE

  • Place body parts in water 102 to 105 (20 to 40 minutes)

  • Do not re-warm if there is a chance of re-freezing


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