First-aid Treatments for Hypothermia During Winter Camping
It is pertinent to know beforehand the first-aid treatments for hypothermia during winter camping. This is because you or your companion can develop this condition without realizing it.
Meanwhile, it may interest you to know that you may develop two diseases while camping in winter: hypothermia & frostbites, but we’ll focus on the former in this article as it is more common.
In Case of Hypothermia
Hypothermia refers to a condition caused when your body exhausts the entire heat reserves in the body to survive the icy weather around, thereby leaving body temp on dangerously low levels.
This often leads to a dampened mental state, as the affected person becomes unable to act or make simple movements. In the worst cases, the victims cannot think clearly, and as a result, a person with hypothermia fails to realize that he is suffering from the condition.
Persons at higher risks of suffering hypothermia include:
- Seniors, particularly when they do not have sufficient food intake, appropriate clothing & effective heating systems;
- The infantile in cold environments;
- Regular alcoholics & drug abusers, who suffer weakened immune function;
- Persons who stay outside for too long.
First-aid Measures for Hypothermia
Hypothermia, like all diseases, is better prevented than cured. As such, it is essential to take all necessary measures for keeping warm in winter, such as putting on appropriate clothing & having a functional tent heater. However, in cases where your warmth-ensuring systems are unable to perform ideally, hypothermia may occur.
Diagnosing hypothermia on time is crucial to surviving it. Therefore, it is recommended that you monitor your camping partners from time to time, especially those at higher risk of developing the condition. To find out if your partner has developed hypothermia, check for the following signs & symptoms:
- Cold, bright-red skin, mostly noticeable in infants;
- Excessive shivering;
- Apparent lack of coordination;
- Drowsiness or low energy levels;
- Shallow pulse;
- Unusual confusion & memory loss;
- Weakened or slow breathing;
- Slurred speech.
Always keep in mind that a person with hypothermia will rarely know he has the condition. So, it’s usually up to you, and if the situation is reversed, to others. Here is a guideline to follow the instant you discover the situation:
- Seek professional help immediately (call 911) if available;
- Get the person out of the cold. If there’s no shelter nearby, cover them from strong winds & specially shield their head & neck with available pieces of clothing;
- If they are wet, replace their wet clothes with warm ones. Know that moisture encourages hypothermia;
- Warm them slowly. This is usually done by sitting close to a heat source. However, do not overdo this. Also, avoid warming the arms & legs specifically — doing so may stress out the person’s heart & lungs;
- Ensure that they don’t take an alcoholic drink as they regain consciousness. Warm drinks are okay. But no alcohol;
- Lastly, if they go unconscious or you find them knocked out, conduct CPR on them.
Concluding The First-aid Treatments for Hypothermia During Winter Camping
Of all diseases contractible while on winter camping, hypothermia is the most dangerous. Stats suggest that it kills an average of 1 000 people in the US per year. Saddening, isn’t it? You surely don’t want to fall victim. Avoid this condition using a few first-aid tips for possible health concerns during winter But if eventually, you or your partner becomes hypothermic, be sure to survive using our first-aid treatments for hypothermia during winter camping.