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.
Continue reading “Cold truths about hypothermia”
Hyperthermia and heat stroke can be life-threatening medical conditions. Hennepin Healthcare professionals want to remind everyone that the best way to avoid heat-related medical problems is to:
- Stay cool – if you don’t have air conditioning in your home, go to a shopping mall, restaurant, library or movie theater to stay cool.
- Drink plenty of water (even if you’re not thirsty!). Avoid drinking alcohol!
- Check on elderly friends and family members or those who have health concerns to make sure they are adequately hydrated and cared for.
- Avoid heavy exercise – especially during the hottest times of the day.
- Seek medical attention if you have these signs of hyperthermia: confusion, inability to perspire, combativeness, fainting, rapid pulse, flushed skin, delirium.