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How to Recognize & Treat Hypothermia

Learn how to recognize and treat hypothermia in this first aid video from Howcast with Nurse Mary.


For hypothermia, you want to get the person out of the cold. You want to get them out of a dangerous place. So, you want to keep them safe. You want to keep yourself safe. Get them inside to a dry, warm place. Take off any wet clothing. Wrap them up in warm blankets. Hypothermia is body temperature below 95 degrees. And you want to be careful because as the limbs warm up, the cold blood will go to the heart. So, they may have like a rebound effect. They may feel like they're getting better, and then they get worse as the blood circulates around. While you're waiting for help you can also apply warm packs to their armpits, their groin and their neck. And that'll help raise their core temperature and get them feeling better quicker. With mild hypothermia, you're going to have shivering and you're going to feel cold, and that's normal. So, you want to address those things. Get them warm. Get them safe. For sever hypothermia, you're going to lose muscle control. You're going to have confusion. You're going to have agitation. You're going to have slurred speech. People are not going to act normal. You're going to want to get help right away for that. Call 911. If they're alert, and oriented and they can follow commands, give them warm drinks. Not hot drinks, but warm drinks. That will help warm them up from the inside out. Although people think alcohol will warm you up, stay away from alcohol. That can dehydrate you and that can make things even worse.

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