Frozen Mythbusters: Myth #11 of 13.
There are a variety of myths regarding human response to cold exposure. These myths are explained and debunked by Dr. Murray Hamlet, DMV, Dr. Gordon Giesbrecht, PHD, and Frank Hubbell, DO. After posting the thirteen myths, a complete article from the Wilderness Medicine Newsletter will be loaded for anyone interested in all the chilly little details.
The best way to rewarm a hypothermia victim is to place them naked in a sleeping bag with a warm naked rescuer so they can share body heat.
Busted – The hypothermia victim is cold and vasoconstricted so they will not absorb heat through their pale, cold skin. The second problem occurs when the warm rescuer begins to overheat and sweat. They will now get the hypothermia victim damp which will increase heat loss.
Remember, one very effective way to rewarm a mildly hypothermic victim (who is shivering vigorously) is to keep them shivering and harness the heat with adequate insulation. Concentrate your efforts on getting them dry and keeping them dry. Put them in a good thermal capsule, a hypothermia wrap, and feed them sickly sweet liquids to maintain blood sugar. If unconscious, do not try to feed them, and do your best to provide an external source of heat.
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