is a condition in which the body temperature starts dropping due to loss of heat and is unable to produce heat as fast as it loses it. Our body needs to be maintained at an optimum temperature to ensure that the metabolic processes are functioning well. When the temperature rises too high, then proteins in enzymes begin to denature and cannot function, while at cooler temperatures the enzymes slow down important metabolic processes. In hypothermia, there is a reduction in body temperature that affects many metabolic processes.
Normal body temperature:
98 degrees Fahrenheit or 37 degrees Celsius
95 degrees Fahrenheit or 35 degrees Celsius and below
Hypothermia can be mild to severe depending on the temperature and length of exposure to the cold. Deaths due to hypothermia are more during December and January. 51.4% of death due to hypothermia was triggered by substance abuse. Elderly and babies are more prone to hypothermia. Symptoms of hypothermia are shivering, memory loss and confusion, slurred speech, slow and weak pulse, breathing difficulties.
Hypothermia is a potentially life threatening condition and immediate care is very important. First aid measures for hypothermia depend on whether the individual is conscious or not. If the individual is conscious, then first aid measures should be carried out like moving to a warm place; providing warmth and providing a warm drink.