Every Minnesotan is familiar with piling on coats, hats, mittens and other clothing to stay protected from the elements during the winter months. Hypothermia — literally meaning “low (body) temperature” — occurs when too much heat escapes the core of the body and cannot be replaced quickly enough. It can affect someone’s mental and physical abilities and eventually be fatal if not treated. Hypothermia sets in very slowly, so those affected often do not realize they need help or medical attention.
No one plans to become hypothermic; car trouble, walking home from a party, or a slip and fall on the ice are just a few ways people inadvertently get over-exposed to the harsh cold.
Irja Gardner of Mound is an early riser who likes to complete her workout routine before her son gets up for school. But on Wednesday, June 6, her routine was cut short when she noticed that the readings on her X-Box exercise program monitor didn’t seem quite right.
“The X-Box said, ’40 percent complete’ when it usually says ’95 percent complete’ after the first set of reps,” said Gardner. “Then I couldn’t stand up anymore — I fell and ended up on the floor. I wasn’t sure what was going on, so I stumbled up the stairs and sat down on the couch for a while, thinking it would pass. I can’t remember too many details after that.”