Hypothermia (Extended Exposure to Cold) (cont.)
Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.
Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP
Dr. Balentine received his undergraduate degree from McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland. He attended medical school at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine graduating in1983. He completed his internship at St. Joseph's Hospital in Philadelphia and his Emergency Medicine residency at Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center in the Bronx, where he served as chief resident.
In this Article
- What is hypothermia?
- What are the risk factors for hypothermia?
- What body parts are more susceptible to hypothermia?
- What causes hypothermia?
- What are the signs and symptoms of hypothermia?
- What are the symptoms of hypothermia in infants and children?
- Can a person experience hypothermia indoors?
- When should I call my doctor for hypothermia?
- How is hypothermia diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for hypothermia?
- Home remedies for hypothermia
- What items should I have to be prepared to prevent hypothermia?
- What is the prognosis for hypothermia?
- Find a local Doctor in your town
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:
- Increased respiratory rate
- 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
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