Blanket - Cold Exposure (Hypothermia)

Hypothermia treatment is a critical part of first aid. Blankets are an essential product that can help with the recovery of a patient experiencing cold exposure.

Definition

For normal function of most body systems and organs the human body’s temperature is kept controlled between narrow limits (about 37 Degrees Celsius). Hypothermia is when the body’s temperature is below 35 Degrees Celsius.  As the body’s temperature falls, systems and organs progressively fail until death occurs, usually from cardiac arrest. Infants and elderly people are at greater risk.
Hypothermia may develop acutely (eg: falling into icy water) or be a gradual and insidious process.

Common Causes
 ENVIRONMENTAL: exposure to cold, wet, or windy conditions; cold water immersion/submersion; exhaustion.
 TRAUMA: trauma, immobility and burns.
 DRUGS: alcohol and / or sedatives.
 NEUROLOGICAL: stroke and altered consciousness.
 ENDOCRINE: impaired metabolism.
 SYSTEMIC ILLNESS: severe infections, malnutrition.

Reference: Australian Resuscitation Guidelines 9:3:3

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