Hypothermia

A man helps another man out of the cold water Photo: iStockphoto

A man helps another man out of the cold water
Photo: iStockphoto

Adapted from Healthlink BC by Nila Gopaul
Level 2
May/June 2012

Normal body temperature in adults
is 34.4 °C to 37.8 °C.
People can get hypothermia
when the inside of the body drops below 35 °C.
If not treated, hypothermia can lead to death.

Read the PDF. Try the exercise.

Here are some ways you can treat mild* hypothermia:

Get the person indoors. Call 8-1-1*, press 2 to speak with a nurse.

Get the person indoors.
Call 8-1-1*, press 2 to speak with a nurse.

Remove wet clothing, and dry the person off.

Remove wet clothing, and dry the person off.

Warm the person’s trunk first, not the hands and feet.**

Warm the person’s trunk first, not the hands and feet.**

Cover the person with a blanket, or put dry clothing on the person.

Cover the person with a blanket, or put dry clothing on the person.

Do not put the person into warm water.***

Do not put the person into warm water.***

 Wrap a hot water bottle in a cloth. Do not put the bottle directly on the skin.


Wrap a hot water bottle in a cloth.
Do not put the bottle directly on the skin.

Illustrations by: Nola Johnston

*Mild hypothermia: body temperature is 32 to 35 °C;
home treatment of mild hypothermia may be enough
to bring body temperature back up to normal.

** Warming hands and feet first can cause shock.
*** Rapid warming can cause heart problems.

*Call 8-1-1 from anywhere in British Columbia
to speak with a nurse 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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