First Aid For Cold Weather

Dehydration

Drink lots of water because dehydration is big risk.

Hypothermia

Hypothermia is caused by severe loss of body heat due to cooling of the
body's skin and extremities and finally the body's inner core. It is
manifested by violent shivering in the early stages, loss of clear
thinking and speaking, jerky movements, muscular rigidity, irrationality,
stupor, and finally unconsciousness.

Prevention

Hypothermia can be prevented by wearing enough warm, dry clothes, wind and rainproof outerwear, covering up the head, eating snack food frequently, and seeking shelter if weather conditions deteriorate. A victim of hypothermia is unable to care for himself - watch for signs in each other.

Treatment

  • Shelter
  • Insulate the victim from the ground;
  • Change wet clothing
  • Give warm drinks
  • Put victim in a pre-warmed sleeping bag or blankets.
  • Apply heat with warm water bottles or canteens.

Self-Test for Hypothermia-Touch the little finger and thumb together. If this cannot be done, stop immediately and warm up!

Windburn

Windburn is caused by exposure of bare skin to strong drying wind. Symptoms are dry, chapped, and red skin. The best treatment is prevention by using chapstick , sunburn cream, or covering exposed parts before injury occurs.

Snow Blindness

Snow blindness is caused by exposure to ultraviolet radiation. Eyes will feel irritated and dry at first, and later will feel as if they
are "full of sand." Moving and blinking is extremely painful and tearing is profuse. Eyelids can be red and swollen.
Cold compresses and eye bandages will give some relief but ointments in the eye can be damaging and should not be used. Do not rub the eyes!

Frostbite

Cause

Frostbite is caused by the constriction of surface blood vessels as the
body tries to keep the central core warm. As skin temperatures drop,
surface circulation nearly stops, resulting in frostbite. Frostbite
is more likely to occur when a high wind is blowing which takes heat
from the body rapidly. It is characterized by a loss of sensation to
the affected areas combined with a white and waxy appearance of the body
part (usually fingers, toes, nose, and/or cheeks) .

Prevention

• Proper insulation — cover exposed skin,
• Guard against wind chill and moisture,
• Maintain good nutrition, drink water and
exercise,
• Use Buddy System to check exposed skin for
frostnip and frostbite;
• Avoid restrictive clothing, dress in layers

Superficial Frostbite

The skin appears pale, grayish-white color, is hard and appears frozen. The part feels intensely cold 'or numb.
Treat immediately by covering part with dry warm material and applying a warm body part to it. D..Q NQI. rub with hand or snow. Once inside shelter, proper thawing is best accomplished by rapidly immersing part in water
at body temperature. DO NOT allow the frostbitten area to touch the bottom or sides of the container. Give victim warm food and drink and encourage person to exercise the injured part.

Deep Frostbite

Underlying tissue as well as the skin is hard and solid. The area has no feeling and pain is absent. Thawing should not be
attempted unless the injured person can be placed in a shelter where complete and uninterrupted thawing can occur under sterile conditions. Under no conditions should a thawed part be allowed to refreeze as severe tissue destruction will occur. Thawing is usually accompanied by great pain. The thawed part cannot be used and must be kept sterile and
protected from abrasion/impact until medically treated.

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