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Cold-Related Emergencies: Key Points. Environment does not have to be extremely cold for a person to suffer a cold-related emergency, especially if the person is wet or if it is windy.

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Cold related emergencies key points
Cold-Related Emergencies:Key Points

  • Environment does not have to be extremely cold for a person to suffer a cold-related emergency, especially if the person is wet or if it is windy.

  • Young children are susceptible to cold-related emergencies b/c their body temperature regulating system is not fully developed.

  • The elderly can experience a cold-related emergency inside when exposed to lower temperatures over a period of time, as their temp. regulating mechanisms are sometimes impaired.

Frostbite vs hypothermia
Frostbite vs. Hypothermia

  • Frostbite: A condition when the body tissue freezes after being exposed to the cold environment.

  • Hypothermia: A condition when the entire body cools because the body’s ability to regulate temperature fails. The person may die if not given prompt medical care.

Care for hypothermia
Care for Hypothermia

  • Move person to warm place

  • Check ABC’s & care for shock

  • Remove wet clothing & cover with blankets

  • Monitor use of heating pads to avoid unintentional burns

  • Warm the person SLOWLY and handle person carefully.

Care for frostbite
Care for Frostbite

  • Remove wet clothing and jewelry from affected area

  • Soak the frostbitten area in WARM water

  • Cover with dry, sterile dressings. DO NOT rub the frostbitten area

  • Check ABC’s and care for shock

  • DO NOT rewarm a frostbitten part if there is a danger of it refreezing

Heat related emergencies
Heat-Related Emergencies

  • What are some environmental conditions that could lead to a heat-relate emergency?

    • Doing strenuous activities outside on a hot day.

    • Working in a hot room with little air circulation, such as a kitchen.

    • Not drinking enough water while working in a warm environment.

    • Working in a building where the cooling system fails.

Heat related illness
Heat-Related Illness

  • Heat Cramps: Least severe and often the first signal that the body is having trouble with heat.

  • Heat Exhaustion: A more severe condition than heat cramps. Affects athletes, firefighters, those who wear heavy clothing in a hot, humid environment…

  • Heat Stroke: Least common, but most severe heat emergency. Occurs when people ignore the signals of heat exhaustion.

Care for heat cramps
Care for Heat Cramps

  • Move the person to a cool place

  • Give cool water to drink

  • Lightly stretch the muscle and gently massage the area

Care for heat exhaustion
Care for Heat Exhaustion

  • Move the person to a cooler environment

  • Loosen or remove clothing

  • Fan the person

  • Get the person into circulating air while applying wet towels

  • If the person is conscious, give small amounts of cool water to drink

  • If the person’s condition does not improve of if you suspect heat stroke, call 9-1-1

Care for heat stroke
Care for Heat Stroke

  • Call 9-1-1

  • Give care until help arrives by following the care steps for heat exhaustion.


  • Avoid being outdoors in the hottest or coldest part of the day

  • Change your activity level according to the temperature

  • Take frequent breaks

  • Dress appropriately for the environment

  • Drink large amounts of fluids