(10 True/False questions with explanations)
Hypothermia can not happen to someone in a home environment.
FALSE: Many factors affect our core temperature. Hypothermia can happen at home.
Children and the elderly are at greater risk of hypothermia than young healthy adults.
TRUE: Children and the elderly tend to have a greater body surface area to body mass ratio. This means that they can lose heat more quickly.
People who are hungry and physically exhausted are at greater risk of hypothermia.
TRUE: We create heat in our core as our body digests food. If we have not eaten for a long time, we could end up with no reserves for producing heat.
If you are already cold, it doesn’t really matter if you now get wet.
FALSE: Getting wet will speed up how quickly you lose heat. Always get out of a wet environment as soon as you can. Also, as water evaporates from wet clothing it cools the skin making the situation worse. Get the patient out of cold wet clothing and into something insulating.
Do not give anything to eat or drink to someone you suspect is becoming hypothermic.
FALSE: A warm drink and food are good ways of raising the core temperature. Do not give alcohol.
If you are already cold then to keep warm you should just curl up in a ball on the ground.
FALSE: The ground is usually colder than we are. If we are in contact with something that is colder than we are, such as the ground, we will continue to lose heat through a process called conduction. Your priority is to get to shelter, get the casualty out of wet clothing, insulate them, insulate them from the ground and rewarm them with food and a warm drink. Not alcohol.
Shivering is an early sign of hypothermia.
TRUE: It’s important that you can recognise this. The sooner that you recognise someone is becoming hypothermic, the easier it will be to reverse.
Clumsiness and confusion are possible signs of hypothermia.
TRUE: Several conditions cause clumsiness and confusion but think about your environment and your patient. These are signs that the brain is not working properly and emergency action is needed.
Do not give anything to eat or drink to someone who is unconscious.
TRUE: This would be a choking hazard. Remember to plan your actions and think if your plan could make things worse. If so, you need to come up with a different plan. If someone is unconscious always call the emergency services.
A hot water bottle placed against the chest is advised for someone cold and shivering.
FALSE: Extreme heat against the skin draws blood away from the core making them worse. A direct heat source next to the skin can cause a burn and a hot water bottle could cause a scald if it leaks or bursts. Remove wet clothing, and wrap the patient in something dry and insulating, such as a duvet, sleeping bag, or wool/fleece clothing. Give food and a warm drink. Not alcohol
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