UK's Floods Increase The Risk Of Hypothermia
Everything you read and see at the moment is talking about flooding throughout the UK, very scary times for a lot of people.
Not only are their homes and possessions at risk but also sometimes people's lives!
So what should you do if someone has fallen into water? Well first things first never put yourself in danger, only attempt to retrieve them if it's safe to do so and ideally use a long instrument for them to hold onto so there is no chance of falling in yourself.
Ok so you've got them out of the water, then what? It is likely the onset of hypothermia will occur. This happens when the core body temperature falls below 35 degrees and is caused by the body being exposed to prolonged cold.
Now it's unlikely you'll have a thermometer to hand to check body temperature so other signs to look out for are pale, cold skin, lethargy, disorientation and confusion. To begin with a person will shiver but as the condition worsens the muscles will stiffen and breathing and speech will get slower. If left untreated someone will fall unconscious and eventually lead to death so this is serious stuff!
Now we know we need to warm the person up but be aware it needs to be done slowly. Never put someone directly in front of a fire or straight into a hot bath, blood is drawn to the skins surface and can place stress on the heart.
So to get them warmed up layer blankets over them and get something underneath them to insulate from the ground. Let them have a warm drink and monitor how they're doing, if the condition doesn't seem to be improving or the person is elderly or a child then call an ambulance.
With the rain and cold weather set to continue unfortunately there will probably be more incidents like this occurring. Know your stuff in case you are the first person on the scene and stay safe.