HEALTH

Expert says to seek warmth and medical help if you encounter hypothermia

Dec 19, 2022, 9:30 PM | Updated: Dec 20, 2022, 2:52 pm
quicksand...
In this Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019 photo provided by the National Park Service. a rescued hiker is treated after being stuck in quicksand after getting stranded in a creek Saturday, Feb. 16, 2019, in Zion National Park, Utah. The Zion Search and Rescue team took several hours, to locate the man who was stable but suffering from exposure, hypothermia, and extremity injuries. (National Park Service via AP)
(National Park Service via AP)

SALT LAKE CITY — With cold temperatures lingering in Utah, hypothermia-related illnesses are on the rise. Confusion is one of the symptoms of hypothermia. So, it may be hard to realize when you are experiencing it.

Jen Wagenaar, the chief nursing executive at Mountain Star Healthcare, says there are a lot of people who could potentially be at risk.

“You know people who are most at risk for hypothermia are the folks who spend a lot of time outside or extended periods of time outdoors,” she says. 

Wagenaar says that includes those people who like to hike and hunt. It also includes the homeless population or small children who sleep in cold bedrooms and can’t warm themselves effectively.

She says shivering and extreme exhaustion are some of the first indicators of hypothermia. Those experiencing it need to seek medical attention immediately before it worsens. 

Additionally, Wagenaar says if your body temperature drops below 95 degrees, it is considered a medical emergency. 

She says to help a victim of hypothermia, get the person to someplace warm.

“If you are not able to get help right away or are waiting on help, get the person or yourself to a warm room or shelter,” Wagennar says. “Take off those wet clothes, make sure those don’t remain on.”

Mark Jones contributed to this article.

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Expert says to seek warmth and medical help if you encounter hypothermia