November 27, 2015
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Hypothermia (Extended Exposure to Cold) (cont.)

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What are the signs and symptoms of hypothermia?

The signs and symptoms of hypothermia vary depending upon how severe the hypothermia becomes. In general, there is a sequence of symptoms that can be roughly graded as mild, moderate or severe (not all doctors agree with grading or fixed temperatures). However, the following is a list of symptoms that may occur as hypothermia progresses from mild to severe (temperatures are approximate and some symptoms may overlap).

Mild hypothermia symptoms (core temperature 32 C to 35 C (90 F to 95 F) are:

  • Shivering
  • Fatigue
  • Increased respiratory rate
  • Hunger
  • Nausea
  • Mild confusion
  • Some difficulty with speech and coordination

Moderate hypothermia (core temperature 28 C to 32 C (82 F to 90 F) are:

  • Increasing difficulty with all the moderate symptoms (for example, inability to do simple tasks, slurred speech)

Severe hypothermia (core temperature below 28 C (82 F) are:

  • Shivering stops
  • Extreme confusion (for example, removing clothing or extreme risk-taking behavior)
  • A decline in consciousness
  • A weak and/or irregular pulse
  • Slow and shallow breathing
  • Coma that can result in death

Picture of the Stages of Frostbite

Picture of the Stages of Frostbite
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/16/2014


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