Hypothermia is treated by preventing further heat being lost and by gently warming the patient.
You should seek immediate medical attention if you suspect someone has hypothermiaasit can be life threatening.
It's important to handle a personwith hypothermia gently and carefully.
There are certain things you shouldn't do when helping someone with hypothermia because it may make the condition worse:
Trying to warm someone up yourself with hot water, massages, heat pads and heat lamps can cause the blood vessels in the arms and legs to open up too quickly.
If this happens, it can lead to a dramatic fall in blood pressure to the vital organs such as the brain, heart, lungs and kidneys, potentially resulting in cardiac arrest and death.
If someone you know has been exposed to the cold and they're distressed or confused, they have slow, shallow breathing or they're unconscious, they may have severe hypothermia. Their skin may look healthy but feel cold. Babies may also be limp, unusually quiet and refuse to feed.
Cases of severe hypothermia require urgent medical treatment in hospital. You should call 999 to request an ambulance if you suspect someone has severe hypothermia.
As the body temperature drops, shivering will stop completely. The heart rate will slow and a person will gradually lose consciousness. They won't appear to have a pulse or be breathing.If you know how to do it, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) should be given while you wait for help to arrive.
If someone is admitted to hospital with severe hypothermia, advanced medical treatment can be used to warm them up.
This can be done by temporarily withdrawing blood from the body, warming it and thenreturning it to the body.These techniques are cardiopulmonary bypass (sometimes called heart-lung bypass) and extra corporeal membranous oxygenation (ECMO).
However, these techniques are only available in major hospitals that have specialist emergency services or units that regularly perform heart surgery.
A person with severe hypothermia often stands a better chance of surviving if they're taken directly by ambulance to one of these hospitals, even if it means bypassing a smaller hospital along the way.
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.