Undressing to Get Warm?
Alarmingly, 20-50% of hypothermia victims die after paradoxical undressing. This is a state of hypothermia that occurs during the moderate to severe stage in which the unfortunate victim inexplicably discards their clothing, which increases their body’s rate of temperature loss. The person under this strange influence is usually confused, disorientated and sometimes combative and aggressive.
Theories vary as to why this happens. One suggests that the part of the brain that regulates temperature, the hypothalamus, malfunctions during extreme cold weather; while another suggests that contracted blood vessels can suddenly relax, releasing a surge of blood and heat, tricking the victim into thinking their body is overheating. No matter what causes this unique, yet deadly characteristic of hypothermia, it can be avoided if precautions are taken before one ventures outside, and to never allow your fragile body to reach those dangerous and ultimately deadly levels of cold.