Hypothermia – Treatment, Prevention and Natural Remedies for Hypothermia
Hypothermia occurs when the inside body temperature drops to 95 degrees F and below. It has a severe impact on the nervous, respiratory and circulatory systems. It is caused due to exposure to cold conditions such as cold weather, wearing wet clothes and cold water. It is the condition where the body loses more heat than what it actually produces. The treatment, prevention and natural remedies for hypothermia are discussed below.
Hypothermia condition has to be treated immediately. Before seeking a medical attention, you should follow certain first-aid measures.
- Handle the affected person gently. Do not let the person move unnecessarily. The excessive vigorous movements during hypothermia can lead to cardiac arrest.
- Protect the person from cold and wind or make the person move to a warm and dry location.
- In-case the person has wet clothing, remove the clothing.
- Cover the person with protective warm coverings such as coats or blankets. Except the face, cover the entire body.
- Severe hypothermia conditions make the person become unconscious. In such cases, Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) should be given to the person.
- Maintain skin-to skin contact with the affected person to make the person’s body warm.
- Do not use hot compresses such as heating lamp, heating pad or hot water to warm up a person. They damage the skin and lead to cardiac arrest.
- Apply warm compresses to neck, groin and chest wall. A plastic bag filled with warm water acts as a warm compress.
- Give non-alcoholic, non-caffeinated and warm beverages if the person is able to swallow. They warm-up the body.
The doctor provides medical care for affected person depending on the severity of the hypothermia condition. The treatments include:
- Cavity lavage – In this method, warm solution is delivered into the stomach, bladder and intestine to warm the body. A small tube is inserted from the throat to reach stomach, from urethra to bladder and from rectum to intestine.
- Airway rewarming – Humidified oxygen is administered with nasal tube or a mask to warm the airways and thus raise the body temperature.
- Warm intravenous fluids – Warm water solution is injected through the vein to warm up the blood.
- Blood rewarming – Hemodialysis machine is used. The blood is drawn from the body, warmed and recirculated back into the body through this machine.
The following measures help to prevent the risk of hypothermia. They include:
- Maintain your homes, especially the homes of elderly heated to a temperature of at-least 70 degree F.
- Be aware of the weather and wind conditions as they increase the rate of heat loss.
- Do not drink cold water except in emergency.
- Try to remain dry always especially in cold conditions by covering head, wrist, hands, feet and neck with clothing.
- Take adequate rest and nutrition and maintain a good physical health.
Natural Remedies for Hypothermia
Following are few natural remedies for hypothermia:
- Dip the affected site in warm water. The water should not be above 41 degrees C. This is effective and brings hypothermia affected to the normal body temperature.
- Homeopathic remedies include:
- Cuprum metallicum – This is effective for skin that has bluish coloration along with muscle cramps.
- Carbo vegetabilis – This is effective when the person faints, weak and sluggish and is going short of breath.
- Arnica – Effective in case if shock followed by trauma.
- Aconitum – Effective and very useful remedy when exposed to cold and in cases of feeling numb, cold and shocked.