Re: surviving cold, a situation
Derry Hamilton (D.Hamilton@SMS.ED.AC.UK)
Mon, 13 Nov 1995 13:13:28 -0800
This is a late posting that is sent using a dicey mailer since my normal
is having a mid life crisis and can never remember my email address.
Though it should be rectified soon
The scout in question is quite clearly not hypothermic, though he may
be potentialy hypothermic. If you look up your first aid manual the
cause is low core temoerature (as measured by a thermometer in the
mouth or similar). This leads to lagging behind (if walking) , mood
swings, unpredictability, possibly violent behaviour etc. It is when
the shivering response stops that the person becomes hypothermic.
If he is still shivering then some high calorie food is a good idea
but if he is truly hypothermic then putting him in a bag will be your
best option whilst you are calling the ambulence. True hypothermia
_cannot_ be treated on camp an requires medical attention. It is
rare for somebody with hypothermia to be able to diagnose it for
themselves, one of the symptoms is that you stop caring. Since the
scout came to you shivering then he is safe for the moment.
What you should do is check his clothing (Even if he is in a decent
bag if the weather is that cold then he should be wearing a jersey,
warm P.J.s and bed socks. These must be bone dry. Next his bedding,
is the seeping bag OK, is he using it properly, does he have a roll
mat or blankets beneath it, once again is it dry? Next check the
tent, is it brailed down properly, is the ground sheet covering the
sod cloths, is there anything touching the fly sheet?
If these are all correct and if he really is very cold then an idea
that works is to get everyone together who is awake and wants
from the whole troop, which shouldn't be too many if it is late and put
a dixie of soup that will be drunk. If nessicary have a _quiet_ sing
along by a small fire or in a tent, making sure that everyone is well
wrapped up whilst singing and drinking. When all is done get
everyone to bed end ensure that all the patrols are safely done up
then get to bed.
I have it on reliable advice that cold cannot kill you when you are
you wake well up before it happens. As I said above, if the scout
really is hypothermic then it is not a situation that can be dealt
with in camp. The standard treatment is to mostly immerse (so they can
breath safely ) the victim in water at 40 degrees Celsius ( my sums tell
me that this is about 104 degrees Farenheight) until
they begin to sweat. At this point the core temperature is in the
safe zone, then take them out rapidly, dry them and put them in a
warm bed. The British mountain rescue use a synthetic bag with
fibres similar to the foil in a space blanket when they are uplifting
a hypothermia victim and this is often warm enough to reverse
hypothermia on its own (with a healthy person in it too)
in case they have to weather out a storm.
We had a thread about first aid training a few days ago. This serves
to reiterate the necesity for good wild country first aid ability.
1st North Berwick
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City