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THE TIME TO PREVENT HYPOTHERMIA IS DURING THE PERIOD OF EXPOSURE AND GRADUAL EXHAUSTION HYPOTHERMIA If exposure continues until your energy reserves are exhausted: Cold reaches the brain depriving you of good judgement and reasoning power. You will not realize this is happening. You will lose control of your hands. This is hypothermia. Your internal temperature is sliding downward. Without treatment, this slide leads to stupor, collapse, and death. AVOID EXPOSURE STAY DRY. When clothes get wet, they lose about ninety percent of their insulating value. Wool loses less as does many of the new synthetics. Cotton and wet down are worthless. BEWARE OF THE WIND. A slight breeze carries heat away from bare skin much faster than still air. Wind drives cold air under and through clothing. Wind refrigerates wet clothes by evaporating moisture from the surface. WIND MULTIPLIES THE PROBLEMS OF STAYING DRY. If you have been in the water and you are wearing a T-shirt that is wet remove it and you will retain more heat. Direct sunlight on the skin helps in the warming process. UNDERSTANDING COLD. Most hypothermia cases develop in air temperatures between 30 and 50 degrees. Most outdoor enthusiast simply can't believe such temperatures can be dangerous. They fatally underestimate the danger of being wet at such temperatures. Fifty degree water is unbearably cold. The cold that kills is cold water running down your neck and legs, and cold water removing body heat from the surface of your clothes. TERMINATE EXPOSURE If you can not stay dry and warm under existing weather conditions, using the clothes you have with you, do whatever is necessary to be less exposed. BE SMART ENOUGH TO GIVE UP REACHING THE PEAK, OR WHATEVER YOU HAD IN MIND. Get out of the wind and rain. Build a fire. Concentrate on making your camp or bivouac as secure and comfortable as possible. NEVER IGNORE SHIVERING Persistent or violent shivering is a clear warning that you are on the verge of hypothermia. MAKE CAMP OR GET BACK TO YOUR VEHICLE. BEWARE OF EXHAUSTION Make camp while you still have a reserve of energy. Allow for the fact that exposure greatly reduces your normal endurance. You may think you are doing fine when the fact that you are exercising is the only thing preventing your going into hypothermia. If exhaustion forces you to stop, however brief: Your rate of body heat production instantly drops by fifty percent or more. Violent, incapacitating shivering may begin immediately. You may slip into hypothermia in a matter of minutes. APPOINT A LEADER Make the best protected and experienced member of your party responsible for calling a halt before the least protected member becomes exhausted or goes into violent shivering. DETECT HYPOTHERMIA If your group is exposed to WIND, COLD, OR WET, think hypothermia. Watch yourself and others for the symptoms: Uncontrollable fits of shivering. Vague, slow, slurred speech. Memory lapses, or incoherence. Immobile, fumbling hands. Frequent stumbling. Drowsiness (to sleep is to die.) Apparent exhaustion. Inability to get up after a rest. TREATMENT The victim may deny he/she is in trouble. Believe the symptoms, not the person. Even mild symptoms demand immediate treatment. Get the victim out of the wind and rain. Strip off all wet clothes. If the victim is only mildly impaired: Give him/her warm drinks. (only small amounts) Get him/her into dry clothes and a warm dry sleeping bag. Well-wrapped warm (not hot) rocks or canteens placed in the crotch and under the arms anywhere the main arteries are close to the surface of the skin, will hasten recovery. If the patient is semi-conscious or worse: Try to keep him/her awake. (Do not give hot liquids by mouth.) Leave him/her stripped. Put him/her in a sleeping bag with another person (also stripped) to transfer heat. If you can put the victim between two donors, skin to skin contact is very effective treatment. Information is sponsored by CFA level 1 study guide. Build a fire to warm canteens and rocks for warming the victim. Transport the victim as soon as possible to the closest hospital for monitoring. It takes a very long time to warm the inner core and only a rectal hypothermia thermometer is long enough to find out what the inner core temperature really is. DON'T DELAY! and other partnership programs.

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Go International- Southwind Adventures

Go Local - All Outdoors Rafting

Go Fishing - Afishunt Charters

Go Camping - Get on the Water - Indian Head Canoes

Go Hiking - Pacific Creast Trail Assoc.



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