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How do I give first aid for hypothermia?

Leigh Vinocur, MD
Emergency Medicine
First aid for hypothermia:

– Move the victim to a warm area and remove any wet clothing.

– If they are awake and conscious, give them warm non-alcoholic beverages.

– Start CPR if they have no pulse or are not breathing.

– Do not apply direct heat to extremities, which causes a further drop in core temperature.

If a person experiences extreme or prolonged cold that causes their body temperature to drop below 95 degrees Fahrenheit, they have hypothermia. You should immediately call 911 and provide first aid until help arrives. Start by protecting them from the elements - getting out of cold is preferred, but if that is not possible, at least attempt to shield them from the wind or cold ground. Remove wet clothing and begin to warm the person. Warm compresses to the body's trunk are best. Do not warm the arms or legs or use hot water or a heating pad or lamp.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.