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The body can also suffer ill effects due to the cold. With just two degrees drop in body temperature, the body can suffer from Hypothermia. If you find someone with hypothermia, it is important not to reheat them too rapidly, as this can complicate matters and could even cause cardiac arrest.
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(not rubbed dry) with a towel.
Signs of hypothermia include uncontrollable shivering, disorientation, and confusion. In some cases, the patient can be unresponsive. With severe hypothermia, the pulse can be slow and weak and often difficult to detect. Hypothermia doesn't just happen to people who are outside in the cold too long. Often people can suffer from hypothermia in their own home. This is often the case with the elderly trying to save money on heating costs.
It is worth mentioning two other cold-related problems. The first 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 her fingers under her 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 slowly using water no more than 40 degrees. Never rub or massage frostbitten areas; the re-warming process is usually very painful.