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The body can suffer ill effects due to cold. With just a two degrees Celsius drop in body temperature, the body can go into hypothermia. If you find someone with hypothermia, it is important you do not reheat them too rapidly, as this can complicate matters and could even cause a cardiac arrest. Signs of hypothermia include uncontrollable shivering, disorientation, and confusion. In some cases, the patient can be unresponsive. With severe hypothermia, the pulse could be slow and weak and often difficult to detect. Hypothermia does not happen to people who are just outside in the cold for too long. Often people can suffer from hypothermia in their own homes. This is often the case with the elderly trying to save money on heating costs.

Water or wet clothing can draw heat out of the body 20-25 times faster than air. So it is important to ensure that the person is out of the water, free of wet clothing, and dried by patting gently and not rubbing with a dry towel. Monitor the patient carefully and slowly warm them. Even a slight increase in temperature will start to warm the body. Call the EMS and give them information on what has happened and what you have done to help, so they can assess their recovery better.

It is worth mentioning there are two other cold-related problems. The first one is frostnip. This is where the skin freezes and becomes red, white, and painful. Warming frostnip can be done by getting the patient to put their fingers under their arms. Frostbite is more serious and an EMS medical emergency. This is where the body's tissues, muscles, and vessels freeze. With frostbite, re-warming should only be attempted using water of no more than 40 degrees Celsius. Never rub or massage frostbitten areas. The re-warming process is usually very painful.