Hypothermia & Frostbite___By Brody BusickINTRODUCTIONHypothermia and frostbite are two vastly different conditions although both can be extremely dangerous and sometimes result in death. Hypothermia can happen to you even in ninety degree water if you spend enough time in it but our bodies do a much better job at preserving heat on land as it would take about fifty degree weather or lower to cause hypothermia. Frostbite can also form in temperatures around forty degrees or below with the help of some wind. Hopefully this paper will be enough to give you a deep look at both of these very serious medical conditions.Hypothermia Hypothermia (not to be confused with hyperthermia) is when your body begins to consume more heat than the body can produce. Normal body temperature is about thirty-seven degrees Celsius (ninety-seven degrees Fahrenheit). Mild hypothermia most often occurs when your body temperature drops below thirty-five degrees Celsius (ninety-five degrees Fahrenheit). Below thirty-two degrees Celsius (ninety degrees Fahrenheit) is when moderate hypothermia starts and severe hypothermia occurs at twenty-eight degrees Celsius (eighty-two degrees Fahrenheit) or below. There are three broad stages of hypothermia which are mild, moderate and severe. In the early stages of hypothermia, your body will begin to shiver to help produce more body heat and you will also experience some confusion. Once into the moderate stages of hypothermia your body will begin to stop shivering and you will become increasingly confused as cells in your body will also begin to freeze and die. Once your body hits the severe stages of hypothermia you may begin to experience paradoxical undressing, this is where you begin to take all of your clothes off, because your body will be so confused to the point where your brain tells your body that you are hot so that you have no choice but to undress. Another symptom of severe hypothermia is cardiac arrest. This is when your heart shuts down, your body stops breathing, and you lose consciousness. When your body hits around twenty-two degrees celsius (seventy-two degrees farenheit) your body will completely shut down and you will die. There are around one thousand five hundred deaths from hypothermia in America each year. There are many risk factors that will increase your chances of obtaining hypothermia. These include being anorexic, intoxicated with alcohol or other drugs, low blood sugar levels, or if you are of an older age. Hypothermia can also be easily treated if caught in the early stages but also rapidly advances once it reaches the first stage. Treatments for mild to moderate cases include but are not limited to drinking warm liquids, warm clothing, heated blankets, physical activity. In some cases people will need intravenous fluid which is more commonly known as an IV. To help fix severe cases of hypothermia you will most likely need to receive cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), and cardiopulmonary bypass(CPB). CPR is when you combine chest compressions along with artificial ventilation and the goal of it is to either bring the person back to consciousness or to keep them stable until more experienced medical professionals can arrive to the scene. ECMO is a method derived from CPB where they artificially remove your red blood cells, extract the carbon dioxide, and insert the oxygen back into your bloodstream. CPB is basically a short term version of ECMO as it is usually used during surgeries and takes over the function of the heart and lungs. Moderate to severe hypothermia also causes multiple long term effects on your body including but not limited to hypoxia, frostbite, inflammation of the pancreas, fluid in the lungs, pneumonia, kidney failure, and heart problems. Hypoxia is a condition where a certain part of your body does not receive an adequate amount of oxygen which can turn fatal if not treated in time. Pneumonia is a condition where the air sacs in your lungs become inflamed and most often fill with pus or some other type of fluid. To prevent hypothermia you should dress in very warm clothes and also try to prevent being in cold temperatures for long amounts of time. Also avoid spending time in cold water and stay active so that your body can produce more body heat.Frostbite Frostbite is an injury in which your skin and the tissues underneath of it begin to completely freeze. In negative seventeen degree weather frostbite can begin to form on exposed skin in as little as thirty minutes or less. This time can vary depending on how cold the temperature is and the wind chill. Frostbite most often forms on exposed skin or fingers, toes, ears, and other small body parts in temperatures below freezing. It can also form on covered skin anywhere on the body. The very first stage of frostbite is most often referred to as frostnip. Frostnip will not cause any long term damage but will most often result in a stinging sensation wherever it is beginning to form and can be treated by simply warming your body part up. The second and third stages of frostbite, however, do require immediate medical attention because if left untreated it can cause many long term issues, such as increased sensitivity to cold, higher chance of obtaining frostbite again, long term numbness, frostbite arthritis, growth defect/stunts in growth, infection, tetanus, and gangrene. Frostbite arthritis is when the frostbite causes the tissue/cartilage in the joint to change and results in arthritis. Gangrene is when the tissue in the affected area dies off because it does not receive enough blood and requires immediate medical attention. The limb most often falls off or is required to be removed from the body. Frostbite affects nearly two hundred thousand people every year and they are most commonly people from the ages fourteen all the way up to sixty. It can also be easily prevented by covering all of your exposed skin and trying to stay out of the cold weather. Risk factors that improve your chances of getting frostbite includes but is not limited to medical conditions such as dehydration or diabetes, alcohol or drug abuse, smoking, mental illnesses that impair your judgement skills, previous cases of frostbite or other injuries related to cold, being an infant or of an older age, and being at a higher altitude. The main thing to be aware of when trying to prevent frostbite is to keep your skin covered, maintain body heat and make sure that you are receiving enough oxygen. It is important to be aware of the symptoms so that you can catch it before it has time to evolve and hopefully stop it from advancing into the deeper stages. However if you do obtain frostbite follow the following steps. For stage one, you will know if you have this if you notice pale or red skin along with numbness or stinging in the affected area. You should try to warm your body up by going into warm areas and keeping your affected limb warm. If you reach stage two, you will know you have because again you will feel a stinging, burning, swelling, and numbness.More signs include a loss of coordination, blue/purple looking skin, along with blisters or other abnormalities on your skin. To treat stage two you will need to seek medical assistance and immediately rewarm your skin. If you obtain the third stage of frostbite you will need to immediately receive medical help. You will know if you have it if you can not move the muscles/joints in the affected area and your skin may look nearly black, a loss of feeling in the area, lots of swelling, and large blood filled blisters. Once you get medical help you will most likely need the limb to be amputated or it may fall off of your body on it’s own. If a limb falls off you will be highly susceptible to receive tetanus and other types of infections on the open wound which could lead to more amputation and even death. You can also get frostbite on your bare skin and they would have to cut that skin off then use skin grafting to replace the area that was affected. Skin grafting is a method where they take skin from another place in your body and they then apply it to the area where you need the skin.If you suspect that someone may be getting frostbite or hypothermia you should talk to them and let them know the things they are at risk for. If you think that they have already reached the second stage of frostbite then you should either give them something to stay warm or help them to find somewhere indoors to warm up. If they have reached the first or second stage of hypothermia then you should make sure that they find somewhere warm and also help to keep them from making irrational decisions since their decision making skills will be much lower. If they have reached the third stage of frostbite then you should call 9-1-1 and help them to find immediate help. If someone has reached the third stage of hypothermia then you should call 9-1-1 and help them to stay in a stable condition. You may need to use CPR if they lose consciousness and also other drastic measures to make sure they stay alive until more experienced professionals can arrive on scene to save them. 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