This article will tell you all about the possible symptoms and types of low body temperatures, from which you can understand whether or not the person is suffering from hypothermia, thus prompting you to take appropriate action faster. Read on to find out more…
When a person’s body temperature drops down and is unable to return to the normal level, that state is called hypothermia. Our normal body temperature is around 36.5 ºC to 37.5 ºC i.e. around 98 to 100 ºF. When a person is exposed to extremely low temperature, the body fails to make up for the heat loss. This usually happens to mountaineers who climb up high altitudes. The body temperature keeps decreasing and comes to the stage which we call hypothermia. Let us see the symptoms step by step, in order to understand this condition.
It is important that a person suffering from hypothermia is treated as soon as possible otherwise it might prove to be fatal. In the United States, nearly 600 people die each year due to this problem. Taking a person to the hospital or giving them proper first aid, when they start showing the signs of hypothermia, is important. Given below are some of the signs and symptoms which you should keep in mind.
- The first hypothermia hints includes shivering uncontrollably. This is a psychological reaction to try to preserve the remaining heat of the body from escaping. This also is a low body temperature symptom.
- The person, although is alert starts showing some signs of disorientation. He becomes very irritable and is confused about what is happening around him.
- If the above given symptoms are not taken care of seriously, then the stage moves on to moderate state of hypothermia, in which the shivering becomes beyond imagination.
- The muscles in the body do not coordinate with each other and hence the person becomes clumsy.
- Although the victim is still alert, they cannot think for themselves anymore.
- The lips, ears, fingers and the toes of the person turn blue in color. This happens because the body has still not given up fighting. The blood vessels contract because the main motive is to still try and keep the vital organs of the body warm and not let the chill spread there.
- The person’s speech also becomes slurred and slow. The heart rate slows down.
- The person feels drowsy and just wants to go to sleep.
- Even after these symptoms, if the person is not taken to the hospital, then the person starts suffering from amnesia. They are no longer alert now and they also lose their power of speech.
- The skin of the person turns blue and it becomes puffy due to low body temperature.
- The heart rate, the pulse and the respiration rate also decreases further.
- The blood vessels can no longer protect the vital organs, hence the person starts showing symptoms of organ failure, one by one.
- The muscles no longer coordinate with each other and hence, the victim cannot walk or even use their hands properly.
- The body temperature goes below 30 ºC.
- Breathing becomes shallow and the body becomes rigid while the pupils of the eyes become dilated.
- The skin also feels cold to touch.
- The person might also show signs of several skin problems, such as cryopedis and frostbite.
Once the victim starts showing these symptoms of the last stage or the severe stage, then it becomes difficult to save him. Hence, it is best that as soon as the person starts showing the first symptoms, they should be given immediate medical attention. In mild cases of hypothermia, there is full recovery. In the case of moderate type, recovery is possible, but with some permanent damage. But in the case of severe hypothermia, the recovery though possible is very rare. So it is better if the person is given medical attention soon. So if a person starts showing the first symptoms, then before things get worse, take the victim to the doctor or treat them immediately. Do not delay. Take care.