WABASH VALLEY (WTHI-TV) - Cold weather is likely over the next few days here in the Wabash Valley. If you are planning to be outside for a long period of time, here are the signs you need to watch out for to keep you healthy.
- difficulty speaking
- stiff muscles
According to the C.D.C., an average of 1,300 people die from hypothermia each year.
News 10 spoke with Dr. Sandeep Dube, a cardiologist with Community Health Network, to see exactly what body temperature classifies as being hypothermic.
"Our body temperature is fixed at 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit or 37 degrees centigrade and that is the optimal temperature for all of our organs to work properly. So when it falls below 95, that's when hypothermia steps in."
If you are showing any of these symptoms, go indoors and into a heated area immediately. You should seek medical help right away if frostbite sets in.
To prevent hypothermia:
- Make sure you have access to food, clothing, shelter, and sources of heat.
- Wear warm clothing especially for infants and the elderly.
- Protect the ears, face, hands, and feet.
- Limit the amount of time outside.
Treatment of hypothermia:
- Get the person to a warm area immediately and take off any wet clothing.
- Warm drinks can help increase the body's core temperature.
- Keep the person dry and wrapped in a warm blanket.
- Those with severe hypothermia must be carefully warmed and their temperatures must be monitored closely.
- If a person becomes unconscious, CPR should be performed until medical aid becomes available.