When the body loses heat faster than it can produce heat, the body’s inner core temperature drops below norm. This is called hypothermia, and it can be deadly. In Montana, hypothermia is a danger year round and can occur both on land and in the water. A person who dies after falling into cold water is usually the victim of cold water immersion, a process that includes hypothermia.
The four factors that contribute to hypothermia:
someone suffering from hypothermia may deny being in trouble. Believe the symptoms, not the victim.
If you suspect hypothermia, prevent further cooling by following these steps:
Cold water immersion is a phrase that characterizes the actual circumstances and physiological responses encountered in a sudden exposure to cold water (with temperatures as great as 68° Fahrenheit, and colder.) Hypothermia, on the other hand, is a condition in which an organism’s temperature drops below that required for normal metabolism and bodily functions. Casualties of boating accidents often are victims of the effects of cold water immersion (coupled with a failure to wear life jackets), but rarely succumb to the effects of hypothermia. Knowing the difference, and taking steps to prepare for sudden cold water immersion, might actually save your life and the lives of others.
This short brochure explains hypothermia, how to recognize the symptoms, and how to do deal with it.
Freezing to Death on a Sunny Day ( 177 KB)