Public Health

Hypothermia in Winter

It is a dangerous drop in body temperature below 35°C (normal body temperature is about 37°C) and is a medical emergency that needs treatment.

It occurs due to prolonged exposure to extremely cold temperatures. When the body is exposed to cold temperatures, it begins to lose heat faster than it is produced, and prolonged exposure ultimately leads to the consumption of stored energy; Which leads to a decrease in body temperature.
Low body temperature affects the brain, making the affected person unable to think clearly or move well. This makes hypothermia particularly dangerous; Because a person may not know it's happening and won't be able to do anything about it. It most likely occurs at very cold temperatures, but it can even occur at cold temperatures if a person becomes cold due to rain, sweat, or immersion in cold water.

Categories most at risk:

  • Elderly people who suffer from insufficient food, clothing or heating.
  • Children, especially when sleeping in cold rooms.
  • People who stay outside for long periods.
  • People who drink alcohol or use drugs.

In adults:

  • Shivering (but if hypothermia becomes severe, the shivering may stop)
  • Exhaustion or feeling very tired
  • Memory loss
  • Difficulty speaking clearly.
  • Breathing faster than usual.
  • Urinating more than usual.
  • Sleepiness

In children:

  • Redness and coldness of the skin.
  • Lethargy


  • Do not stay in the cold for a long time, especially children.
  • Make sure to dress warm enough and wear layers of clothing.
  • Change wet clothes as soon as possible.
  • Ensure that homes of the elderly are warm enough.
  • Refrain from drinking alcohol.

First aid for a person suffering from hypothermia:
If a person shows signs of hypothermia, the person must be treated immediately, as severe hypothermia may lead to death, and this can be done by:

  • Move the injured person to a warm room as soon as possible.
  • Remove any wet clothes the person is wearing.
  • Warm the middle of the person’s body, especially the chest, neck, head and thigh, using an electric blanket, if available.
  • Warm drinks can help a conscious person increase their body temperature, but do not try to give drinks to an unconscious person.
  • Make the injured person conscious by talking to him until help arrives.
  • After the body temperature rises, make the injured person dry and wrap his body, including his head and neck, with a warm blanket.
  • Obtain appropriate medical care for the injured person as soon as possible.

A person with severe hypothermia may be unconscious and may not appear to have a pulse or breathe. In this case, he should be treated gently, immediately call for emergency help and perform CPR, until he responds or medical help becomes available.

Last Update : 05 December 2023 01:27 PM
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