Hypothermia is a situation where an individual’s body temperature is less than 35° Celsius. Hypothermia that causes the body temperature of the individual to be too low, without rapid management, can be fatal.
1- Definition of Hypothermia
Hypothermia is a decrease in body temperature, below 35° Celsius (with a body temperature reference of 37° Celsius).
A hypothermia situation can very quickly threaten the life of the individual and must be dealt with as quickly as possible.
Hypothermia usually occurs during exposure to a very cold environment, and can be triggered by a combination of different factors, such as a consequent duration of exposure to cold, living in a dwelling without heating or when falling into icy water.
2- Causes of Hypothermia
The most vulnerable to hypothermia are the elderly or people with an underlying chronic pathology.
Infants and young children are also at higher risk. Indeed, their thermal self-regulation capacity is less than that of an adult.
Beyond these “more fragile” categories of people, any person may be exposed to a risk of hypothermia, in the context of a longer or shorter exposure to a cold environment, without adequate equipment.
Some athletes, such as climbers or skiers, also have an increased risk of hypothermia, and more so during the winter season.
3- Possible Evolutions and Complications of Hypothermia