Severe hypothermia is life-threatening. Mild hypothermia (32–35 °C body temperature) is usually easy to treat. However, the risk of death increases as the core body temperature drops below 32 °C. If core body temperature is lower than 28 °C, the condition is life-threatening without immediate medical attention
Symptoms of hypothermia include shivering, cold skin, slurred speech and confusion. Babies with hypothermia may feel cold and limp.
Hypothermia needs to be treated quickly. If you think someone has it, call 999 and try to gradually warm them up while you wait for help to arrive.
Causes of hypothermia include not wearing warm clothes in cold weather, falling into cold water and living in a cold house.
Keeping your house warm, having warm drinks and wearing extra layers when you’re outside in the cold can help reduce your risk of hypothermia.
Early signs of hypothermia include:
These are symptoms of mild hypothermia, where someone’s body temperature is between 32C and 35C.
If their temperature drops to 32C or lower, they’ll usually stop shivering completely and may pass out.
This is a sign that their condition is getting worse and emergency medical help is needed.
Babies with hypothermia may look healthy, but their skin will feel cold.
They may also be limp, unusually quiet and refuse to feed.
You should call 999 and then give first aid if you think someone has hypothermia.
First aid for hypothermia:
2. Remove any wet clothing and dry them.
3. Wrap them in blankets.
4. Give them a warm non-alcoholic drink, but only if they can swallow normally.
5. Give energy food that contains sugar, such as a chocolate bar, but only if they can swallow normally.
If the person cannot be moved indoors, find something for them to rest on to protect them from the cold ground, like a towel or a blanket.
If they do not appear to be breathing – and you know how to do it – give them CPR, but you must continue this until professional help arrives in the form of the ambulance service or a medical team.
Some things can make hypothermia worse:
do not put the person into a hot bath
do not massage their limbs
do not give them alcohol to drink
These actions can cause the heart to suddenly stop …
Be Prepared To Resuscitate
Most cardiac arrests occur when a diseased heart’s electrical system malfunctions. This malfunction causes an abnormal heart rhythm such as ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation. Some cardiac arrests are also caused by extreme slowing of the heart’s rhythm (bradycardia).
Coronary artery disease is the most common cause of sudden cardiac death, accounting for up to 80% of all cases. Cardiomyopathies and genetic channelopathies account for the remaining causes. The most common causes of non-ischemic sudden cardiac death are cardiomyopathy related to obesity, alcoholism, and fibrosis
Can sudden cardiac arrest be prevented? Death is best treated by prevention. Most sudden death is associated with heart disease, so the at-risk population remains males older than 40 years of age who smoke, have high blood pressure, and diabetes (the risk factors for heart attack).
Ventricular fibrillation disrupts the heart’s pumping action, stopping blood flow to the rest of the body. A person in sudden cardiac arrest will collapse suddenly and lose consciousness, with no pulse or breathing
Common heart attack signs and symptoms include: Pressure, tightness, pain, or a squeezing or aching sensation in your chest or arms that may spread to your neck, jaw or back. Nausea, indigestion, heartburn or abdominal pain. Shortness of breath.
Pediatric absence seizures (also called petit mal seizures) are characterized by a brief altered state of consciousness and staring episodes.
Typically the child’s posture is maintained during the seizure. The mouth or face may move or the eyes may blink. The seizure usually lasts no longer than 30 seconds.
Anything that interrupts the normal connections between nerve cells in the brain can cause a seizure.
This includes a high fever, high or low blood sugar, alcohol or drug withdrawal, or a brain concussion. But when a child has 2 or more seizures with no known cause, this is diagnosed as epilepsy.
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COVID-19 in relation to CPR and resuscitation in first aid and community settings
Whenever CPR is carried out, particularly on an unknown victim, there is some risk of cross infection, associated particularly with giving rescue breaths. Normally, this risk is very small and is set against the inevitability that a person in cardiac arrest will die if no assistance is given. The first things to do are shout for help and dial 999.
Recognise cardiac arrest by looking for the absence of signs of life and the absence of normal breathing.
Do not listen or feel for breathing by placing your ear and cheek close to the patient’s mouth. If you are in any doubt about confirming cardiac arrest, the default position is to start chest compressions until help arrives.
Make sure an ambulance is on its way. If COVID 19 is suspected, tell them when you call 999.
If there is a perceived risk of infection, rescuers should place a cloth/towel over the victims mouth and nose and attempt compression only CPR and early defibrillation until the ambulance (or advanced care team) arrives. Put hands together in the middle of the chest and push hard and fast.
Early use of a defibrillator significantly increases the person’s chances of survival and does not increase risk of infection.
If the rescuer has access to any form of personal protective equipment (PPE) this should be worn.
After performing compression-only CPR, all rescuers should wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water; alcohol-based hand gel is a convenient alternative.
We are aware that paediatric cardiac arrest is unlikely to be caused by a cardiac problem and is more likely to be a respiratory one, making ventilations crucial to the child’s chances of survival. However, for those not trained in paediatric resuscitation, the most important thing is to act quickly to ensure the child gets the treatment they need in the critical situation.
For out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, the importance of calling an ambulance and taking immediate action cannot be stressed highly enough. If a child is not breathing normally and no actions are taken, their heart will stop and full cardiac arrest will occur.
Therefore, if there is any doubt about what to do, this statement should be used.
It is likely that the child/infant having an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest will be known to you.
We are aware that doing rescue breaths will increase the risk of transmitting the COVID-19 virus, either to the rescuer or the child/infant. However, this risk is small compared to the risk of taking no action as this will result in certain cardiac arrest and the death of the child.
We continue to provide a professional training experience for all.
Sepsis is a potentially life-threatening condition triggered by an infection or injury. It is also known as blood poisoning or septicaemia.
Symptoms of sepsis
In sepsis, the body’s immune system goes into overdrive as it tries to fight an infection.
This can reduce the blood supply to vital organs such as the brain, heart and kidneys. Without quick treatment, sepsis can lead to multiple organ failure and death.
Early symptoms of sepsis are difficult to distinguish from most infections, and may include:
- a high temperature (fever); though this may not be present: and due to changes in the circulation (blood flow in the body) there may be a low body temperature instead
- chills and shivering
You should be aware about potential sepsis symptoms if you/your child/someone you are with:
- becomes very unwell
- are acting differently than they have previously when experiencing an infection
- have a fast heartbeat
- have fast breathing /difficulty breathing
In some cases, symptoms of more severe sepsis or septic shock develop soon after when your blood pressure drops to a dangerously low level.
These can include:
How sepsis is treated
If sepsis is detected early and hasn’t affected vital organs yet, it may be possible to treat the infection at home with antibiotics. Most people who have sepsis detected at this stage make a full recovery.
Almost all people with severe sepsis and septic shock require admission to hospital. Some people may require admission to an intensive care unit (ICU).
Because of problems with vital organs, people with severe sepsis are likely to be very ill and the condition can be fatal.
However, sepsis is treatable if it is identified and treated quickly. In most cases, this leads to a full recovery with no lasting problems.
Recovering from sepsis
The amount of time it takes to fully recover from sepsis varies, depending on factors such as:
- the severity of the sepsis
- the person’s overall health
- how much time was spent in hospital
- whether treatment was needed in an ICU
Some people make a full recovery quicker than others and not everyone experiences long-term problems.
However, possible problems may include physical symptoms, such as:
- feeling lethargic or excessively tired
- muscle weakness
- swollen limbs or joint pain
- chest pain or breathlessness
- post-sepsis syndrome
People at risk
Anyone can develop sepsis after an injury or minor infection, although some people are more vulnerable.
People most at risk of sepsis include those:
- with a medical condition or receiving medical treatment that weakens their immune system
- who are already in hospital with a serious illness
- who are very young or very old
- who have just had surgery or who have wounds or injuries as a result of an accident
Sepsis, septicaemia and blood poisoning
Sepsis is often known as either blood poisoning or septicaemia. However, these terms refer to the invasion of bacteria into the bloodstream.
Sepsis can affect multiple organs or the entire body, even without blood poisoning or septicaemia.
Sepsis can also be caused by viral or fungal infections. Although bacterial infections are by far the most common cause.