Q. Can you please give me some tips on how I would recognise and treat hypothermia?
Isobel Kearl, National Training Officer with St John Ambulance, is here to help.
Hypothermia happens when someone’s body temperature drops below 35°C (95°F) and there are four key things to look for:
1. Shivering, cold, pale appearance 2. Tiredness, confusion, and
3. Slow and shallow breathing 4. Slow and weakening pulse
If the person is outside, if possible try to get them indoors. Cover them with layers of blankets and warm the room. Give them something warm to drink, like soup, and high energy food or drink.
Seek medical help and while you wait for help to arrive, keep checking their breathing, pulse and level of response. Be aware the hypothermia may also be disguising the symptoms of a serious underlying illness or injury such as a stroke, diabetes, heart attack or underactive thyroid.