I have been looking for good article on Hypothermia for a while. It is a topic I am always concerned about - especially after having done some mountain climbing in the past. I have been attacked on some comments I have made on this before - it is VITAL people know the facts.
Most articles just say get medical help or use such and such equipment - not much good in the field - or at sea.
In British waters at this time of year it's information EVERYONE should be more familiar with - even some ambulance staff I spoke to weren't really sure!!!
This comes from The Search and Rescue Society of British Columbia - a pretty chilly place........
Tha main points - please read!!!
TREATMENT FOR THE DIFFERENT LEVELS OF HYPOTHERMIA
Seek or build a shelter to get the person out of the cold, windy, wet environment.
Start a fire or get a cookstove going to provide warmth. Provide the person with a hot drink (no alcohol, coffee or tea).
Halt further heat loss by insulating the person with extra clothes, etc. This person should recover from the present condition quite quickly.
Remove or insulate the patient from the cold environment, keeping the head and neck covered. This prevents further heat loss and allows the body to rewarm itself.
Provide the patient with a warm, sweetened drink (no alcohol, coffee or tea) and some high energy food. Limited exercise may help to generate some internal heat, but it depletes energy reserves.
Remove or insulate the patient from the cold environment, keeping the head and neck covered. Apply mild heat (comfortable to your elbow) to the head, neck, chest, armpits and groin of the patient.
Use hot water bottles, wrapped Thermo-Pads, or warm moist towels.
It is possible that you may have to continue this treatment for some time. Offer sips of warm, sweetened liquids (no alcohol, coffee or tea) if the patient is fully conscious, beginning to rewarm and is able to swallow. Patient should be seen by a physician.
Place patient in a prewarmed sleeping bag with one or two other people. Skin to skin contact in the areas of the chest (ribs) and neck is effective. Exhale warm air near the patient's nose and mouth, or introduce steam into the area.
Try to keep the patient awake, ignore pleas of "leave me alone, I'm ok". The patient is in serious trouble, keep a close, continuous watch over the patient.
Apply mild heat, with the aim of stopping temperature drop, not rewarming.
If patient has lost conciousness be very gentle, as by now the heart is extremely sensitive. Always assume the patient is revivable, do not give up.
Check for pulse at the carotid artery. If, after two minutes you find no pulse check on the other side of the neck for two minutes.
If there is any breathing or pulse, no matter how faint, do not give CPR but keep very close watch for changes in vital signs.
If no pulse is found begin CPR immediately, stopping only when the heart begins to beat or the person applying CPR can not carry on any longer without endangering himself.
Medical help is imperative, hospitalization is needed.