This is the VOA Special English Health Report.
talked last week about ways to avoid hypothermia and other cold-weather
injuries. Today we are going to talk about emergency treatment.
Hypothermia can be mild, moderate or
severe. Mild hypothermia is something that most people who live in cold
climates have experienced. You feel so cold that your body starts to shake, not
very much but uncontrollably.
treatment for mild hypothermia starts with getting out of the cold, and
changing into dry clothes if necessary. 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.
the treatment changes when people enter the moderate or severe stages of
hypothermia. Their body temperature drops below thirty-five degrees Celsius.
They lose the ability to think clearly. Their muscles become stiff. They might
bump into things or fall over objects.
Freeman is a park ranger at Yosemite National Park in California. She is part
of the Yosemite Search and Rescue team. She says rescuers will first try to
prevent additional heat loss by placing extra covering around a victim's chest,
head and neck.
says it is important to work fast to get people out of the cold and to medical
help as soon as possible. But she says it is equally important to move the
victim slowly and gently.
Freeman says 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
Adrienne Freeman says the process of
"rewarming" a person needs to be done slowly, in a hospital setting.
She says something else to keep in mind is that a hypothermia victim may seem
dead but still be alive.
An extremely low body temperature can cause the heart
to beat so slowly that a pulse may be difficult to find. Ranger Freeman says
members of search and rescue teams have a saying that victims are not dead
until they are warm and dead.
that's the VOA Special English Health Report, written by Caty Weaver. If you
missed last week's advice about how to avoid cold-weather injuries, it can be
found at voaspecialenglish.com. I'm Steve Ember.