When your core body temperature drops below 95 degrees Fahrenheit (°F), it means you have hypothermia. This condition occurs when your body loses heat faster than it can create it. Persons most at risk for hypothermia are the elderly and infants.
The main dangers of hypothermia come from reduced functioning of the heart, brain, and other internal organs. Without prompt treatment, falling body temperature can be life threatening.
At Dignity Health Central California, our trusted doctors provide complete emergency care for hypothermia. If you suspect hypothermia symptoms in Central California, call 911 or visit your nearest hospital emergency room (ER).
The symptoms of hypothermia can be very deceptive. You may not even realized your body is losing heat quickly until your body temperature is very low.
Signs of hypothermia include:
- Memory loss
- Slurred speech
In more severe instances, a person with hypothermia may stop shivering and start having sensations of being very warm. They may want to remove clothing in order to feel cooler. Without fast treatment, the person will lose consciousness and die.
For a clear diagnosis of hypothermia symptoms, call 911 or visit a Dignity Health Central California location near you:
There are four ways the body can lose heat:
- Convection. Moving air (wind chill) pulls heat from the body.
- Radiation. The environment’s air temperature is cooler than the body.
- Conduction. Heat is pulled from the body by contact with the ground or water.
- Evaporation. The body loses heat from sweating.
Convection and conduction are the main causes of accidental hypothermia.
Hypothermia Treatment at Dignity Health Central California
If you suspect hypothermia and are not able to go to an emergency room, call 911 and follow these steps:
- Remove any wet clothing.
- Find warm shelter.
- Drink warm liquids (not alcohol or caffeine).
- Give first aid for any injuries.
If you are with someone that has hypothermia symptoms, cover them with a blanket or anything you can find to provide warmth. If necessary, warm them with skin-to-skin contact until help arrives. At Dignity Health Central California, our doctors offer guidance on how to prevent hypothermia. For more information, Find a Doctor today.
As part of our emergency services, Dignity Health Central California delivers prompt treatment for hypothermia in Bakersfield, Merced, San Andreas, and Stockton, CA.