ABSTRACT

Symptoms of hypothermia start with cold skin and shivering with a loss in manual dexterity and cognitive ability. This leads to confusion, lethargy, apathy and loss of memory. If heat loss from the body is greater than metabolic heat production combined with any heat inputs from the environment, then body temperature will fall. If the internal body temperature falls below 35 degree Celsius then this is termed clinical hypothermia. Damage to the body due to cold can be divided into non-freezing cold injuries, mainly manifesting in the foot, also called immersion foot in water and trench foot on land, and freezing cold injuries mainly due to the freezing of the cells leading to frostbite Hamlet. For both non-freezing and freezing cold injuries additional symptoms can include skin ulcers, gangrene, oedema and more. Statistical ‘evidence’ suggests that cold stress is linked to illness and death mainly among the very young, the elderly and people with underlying medical conditions.