With the winter months approaching in Australia, there is an increased risk of hypothermia in certain situations where patients aren’t prepared for the cold weather.
Most paramedics would define Hypothermia as the condition of having a dangerously low core body temperature. Hypothermia occurs as your body temperature falls below 35C. The patient’s heart and respiratory system can’t work normally, and if left untreated, eventually collapse. If the patient remains exposed to the cold (weather or water), there may be a complete failure of the heart, resulting in death.
Here are some important considerations all paramedics follow when treating someone with hypothermia.
Immediately upon arriving at the scene where a patient is suffering from hypothermia, paramedics will assess the danger of the situation. Their first priority is to make sure the patient is not in any further danger and can be placed in a safe and warm environment. Usually, this can be as simple as getting your patient into the back of the Ambulance, with the heating turned on. Always treat suspected hypothermic patients extra gently, as they are at risk of irregular heartbeats.
Once the patient is stabilised, paramedics will attempt to prevent further heat loss in the patient. This can be done by performing the following actions:
In order to bring the patient’s core body temperature back to safer levels, there are a number of methods paramedics usually employ. They include the following:
In most cases, your patient can be actively re-warmed as you transport them to hospital. In severe hypothermic cases, you may be required to use a mobile blood warmer such as a MEQU.
Now that you have the crucial steps involved in treat people with hypothermia – as recommended by paramedics – you can keep someone alive if you find yourself in the position to help.
Could you become a paramedic and help a patient who is suffering from Hypothermia?
Study pre-hospital emergency health care qualifications online with the aid of clinical workshops as well as online and phone support from trainers and educators. Enjoy the unlimited access to a student success team who are always ready to help and assist. Although these courses can be studied online; APC fosters a vibrant and passionate community that encourages students to engage and help one another.
Choose from three prehospital emergency health care qualifications.
Study online, (we have an app too) and attend clinical workshops in most states.