HypothermiaUpdated Tuesday December 22, 2015 by Cheryl Erickson.
Hypothermia is a decrease in core body temperature.
1. Mild Hypothermia - shivering, cold sensation, goose bumps, numb hands.
2. Moderate Hypothermia - intense shivering, muscle incoordination, slow and labored movements, mild confusion, difficulty speaking, signs of depression, withdrawn.
3. Severe Hypothermia - shivering stops, exposed skin is bluish and puffy, inability to walk, poor muscle coordination, muscle rigidity, decrease in pulse and respiration rate, unconsciousness.
|Stage||Core Temperature in Degrees||Signs and Symptoms|
|Normal, shivering may begin|
|Cold sensation, goose bumps, unable to perform complex tasks with hands, shiver can be mild to severe, hands numb|
|Moderate Hypothermia||95-93F||Intense shivering, muscle in-coordination becomes apparent, movements slow and labored, stumbling pace, mild confusion, may appear alert.|
|93-90F||Violent shivering persist, difficulty speaking, sluggish thinking, amnesia starts to appear, gross muscle movements sluggish, unable to use hands, stumbles frequently, signs of depression, withdrawn.|
|Severe Hypothermia||90-86F||Shivering stops, exposed skin blue or puffy, muscle coordination very poor, inability to walk, confusion, incoherent/irrational behavior, but may be able to maintain posture and appearance of awareness.|
|86-82F||Muscle rigidity, semiconscious, stupor, loss of awareness of others, pulse and respiration rate decrease, possible heart fibrillation.|
|82-78F||Unconscious, heart beat and respiration erratic, pulse may not be palpable.|
|78-75F||Pulmonary edema, cardiac and respiratory failure, death. Death may occur before this temperature is reached.|
Management: The basic principles of rewarming victims of hypothermia are to conserve the heat they have, and replace the heat that they have already lost. The best method to determine the extent of core temperature loss is measurement of rectal temperature. Unfortunately, obtaining a rectal temperature reading on a moderately or severely hypothermic patient can be difficult, and may expose the athlete to further cooling.
Details: The following describes the management regimes for hypothermia relative to severity.