Hypothermia is caused by getting too cold, as the body loses more heat than it can generate and body temperature drops below 35C (95F).
There are different types of hypothermia, depending on how quickly the body loses heat:
Hypothermia is most common in cold environments. You're more at risk if you don't wear enough layers to keep warm or you don't cover your head (a large amount of body heat is lost through your head).
It's also possible to get hypothermia in mild weather. For example, if you're soaked in the rain and don't dry off properly soon afterwards particularly if there's a cool windthe water evaporates from your skin and lowers your body temperature.
Certain groups of peopleare atan increased risk of developing hypothermia because they're vulnerable to cold environments or they're unable to keep warm.
They'll monitor your temperature and may use a special blanketthat haswarm air isblown into it tohelp stop you getting too cold. This is called forced air warming.
You should tell staff if you feel cold at any time during your stay in hospital.
Read the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines for more information about the management of inadvertent perioperative hypothermia in adults (PDF, 174kb) .
In some cases, medical professionals may deliberately make someone develop hypothermia as a treatment. This is known as therapeutic hypothermia.
There's evidence to suggest that, in some circumstances, inducing a state of hypothermia in the body can reduce the risk of death and increase the chances of a good recovery.
People who may receive this type of treatment include those who've had a cardiac arrest caused by a heart attack outside ahospital, but who've been successfully resuscitated and are in an intensive care unit .
Learn how to spot the signs of hypothermia, who's at risk, when to seek medical help, and how to prevent getting hypothermia.
The symptoms of hypothermia can vary depending on how low your body temperature has become. It can often cause confusion, poor judgement and changes in behaviour.
Hypothermia is caused by getting too cold, as the body loses more heat than it can generate and the body temperature drops below 35C (95F).
Learn about how hypothermia is treated, including treatment in the home, what to avoid, and when to seek medical advice.
Read about simple measures you can take to prevent you, your child or elderly relatives getting hypothermia, such as wearing appropriate clothing and heating your home.