May 04, 2016 11:42 UTC

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Slow and Gentle Are Best in Treating Hypothermia

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Blizzard Slams US Northeast; Travel in Disarray
Blizzard Slams US Northeast; Travel in Disarray


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From VOA Learning English, this is the Health Report in Special English.
Last week, we talked about ways to avoid cold-weather injuries. This week, we are going to talk about emergency treatment of hypothermia.
Hypothermia can be mild, moderate or severe. Mild hypothermia is something that most people have experienced if they live in cold climates. You feel so cold that your body starts to shake -- not very much, but uncontrollably.
The treatment for mild hypothermia starts with getting out of the cold and, if necessary, changing into dry clothes. Drinking warm, non-alcoholic liquids and eating something sugary can stop the shivering.
Taking a warm bath or sitting by a fire or doing some exercise can also help the body warm up. These are all common sense treatments.
But treatment needs change when people enter the moderate or severe stages of hypothermia. In that situation, their body temperature drops below 35 degrees Celsius. They lose the ability to think clearly. Their muscles become stiff. They might bump into things or fall over objects.
We got advice from a park ranger experienced in search-and-rescue for the National Park Service. She explained that rescuers will first try to prevent additional heat loss. They will place extra covering around the chest, head and neck of hypothermia victims to keep them warm.
It is important to work fast to get people out of the cold. Hypothermia victims need medical help as soon as possible. But it is equally important to move them slowly and gently.
Any rough or sudden movement can force cold blood from the arms, legs and hands deep into the warmer middle of the body. The sudden flow of cold blood can create shock, a serious condition. It can also cause a dangerously abnormal heartbeat.
The process of “rewarming” a person needs to be done slowly, in a hospital setting. Members of search-and-rescue teams have a saying, that victims are not dead until they are warm and dead.
An extremely low body temperature can cause the heart to beat so slowly that a pulse may be difficult to find. In other words, a person who is suffering from the effects of severe cold may seem dead, but still be alive.
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Comment Sorting
by: Victor from: Brazil
01/07/2013 12:12 PM
This issue is very important for people which go to cold coutries in the holidays.

01/07/2013 1:33 AM
Thank you for your useful information on hyphothermia. It enabled us to take care in such mishaps not to drop a victim down thinking that he might be dead. And like George Bernadshaw once remarked; ' the common sense(tricks presented here) is not so common'. Yet it is easily at disposal as far as weather conditions are taken up. Thank you.

by: Hope W
01/07/2013 12:07 AM
the mp3 is not available. i've been trying it 3 days in row. could u pl fix it?

by: Suguang Dou
01/06/2013 2:40 PM
It is interesting to hear the saying, that victims are not dead until they are warm and dead. It tells us that when we want to help the victims in severe stages of hypothermia, we should move them slowly and gently, and rewarming them slowly.

by: John
01/04/2013 3:26 AM
Why not listen to the recent 3 latest MP3?

by: Xuefu Li from: Shenyang, China
01/03/2013 11:57 PM
I cound not download the MP3

by: Vagner Nascimento from: São Paulo - Brazil
01/03/2013 4:44 PM
I loved the idea of VOA now given some devices about what to do in some situations,

You guys are great!!!
Best Regards

by: Maurizio from: Italy
01/03/2013 2:33 PM
Very useful information. The first aid is of fundamental importance. Everyone should to know notions about this situation in way to aid people and to avoid to do mistakes.

Thanks to "VOA learning english" staff for the interesting articles and for the given tool that help us to improve our english.

Happy New Year!