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    "If you've been injured through no fault of your own you could be entitled to compensation. If you're unsure if you could claim, I recommend you call Accident Advice Helpline."

    Esther Rantzen

    Treating extreme hypothermia


    Hypothermia can, unless treated quickly, be fatal. If you suspect someone is affected by extreme hypothermia, it is imperative to call for medical assistance and provide treatment as quickly as possible.

    Mild and moderate hypothermia

    While waiting for assistance, treat mild and moderate hypothermia by:  

    • Bringing the person somewhere warm or indoors as soon as you can
    • Carefully removing wet clothing and drying the affected individual
    • Wrapping the person in warm towels, blankets, coats or whatever else is to hand, making sure to first of all protect the head and torso
    • Encouraging the affected person to shiver
    • Giving him or her warm drinks, chocolate or other high energy foods to help them warm up – this should only be done if the person can swallow normally, which can be determined by asking them to cough
    • Keeping them dry and warm once their body temperature increases

    It is also important to handle hypothermia victims carefully and gently. You should also under no circumstances:         

    • Put cold people into hot baths         
    • Massage their limbs
    • Use heating lamps
    • Give them alcohol

    Doing any of this could cause a dramatic reduction of blood pressure to vital organs and subsequent death by cardiac arrest.

    Extreme hypothermia

    Indicated by confusion, distress and shallow, slow breathing, as well as loss of consciousness, extreme hypothermia necessitates urgent hospital treatment.

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    Call 999 and, if the individual loses consciousness and does not appear to be breathing or has no pulse while waiting for the ambulance to arrive, administer CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation).

    Hospital treatment

    Ideally, the affected person should be taken to a hospital with units regularly performing heart surgery or specialist emergency services to ensure the equipment necessary for the advanced medical techniques required to aid extreme hypothermia sufferers is available.

    Causes of extreme hypothermia

    Hypothermia is caused by prolonged exposure to very cold environments. In a work accident scenario, a worker may, for instance, become trapped in a walk-in freezer.

    Working outdoors for too long in extreme winter conditions may also result in hypothermia or cold-related work injuries. Being extremely cold also increases the risk of accidents at work

    Your rights as an employee

    Your employer is responsible for your health and safety. If you suffer from hypothermia or were injured at work because your employer did not protect you against work-related accidents or exposure to excessive cold, you could be eligible to claim work injury compensation.

    Call us, Accident Advice Helpline, from a mobile phone on 0333 500 0993, or a landline on 0800 689 0500, now for more detailed information.

    Date Published: April 6, 2016

    Author: Accident Advice

    Accident Advice Helpline (or AAH) is a trading style of Slater Gordon Solutions Legal Limited. Slater Gordon Solutions Legal Limited is a company registered in England and Wales with registration number 07931918, VAT 142 8192 16, registered office Dempster Building, Atlantic Way, Brunswick Business Park, Liverpool, L3 4UU and is an approved Alternative Business Structure authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

    Disclaimer: This website contains content contributed by third parties, therefore any opinions, comments or other information expressed on this site that do not relate to the business of AAHDL or its associated companies should be understood as neither being held or endorsed by this business.

    No-Win No-Fee: *Subject to insurance costs. Fee payable if case not pursued at client's request.