risk management: tip of the week

Recognizing Hypothermia Symptoms

If you are working outside at your self-storage facility during extreme cold weather, it is critical to know the symptoms of hypothermia, which can be fatal if not treated quickly and appropriately. Hypothermia occurs when body temperature drops to less than 95 degrees Fahrenheit. It is most likely to occur at very cold temperatures but can happen at warmer temperatures if a person becomes chilled from exposure to cold water, rain, or sweat.

In a case of mild hypothermia, a person will be alert but may begin to shiver and stomp their feet in an attempt to stay warm. Moderate to severe hypothermia symptoms include:

  • Loss of coordination, fumbling, confusion, disorientation
  • Worsening of symptoms and shivering stops
  • Inability to walk or stand, dilated pupils, slowed pulse and respiration
  • Loss of consciousness

If someone appears to be suffering from hypothermia, call 911 immediately. Move the person to a warm, dry area and remove any wet clothes. Cover the person's body (not the face) with dry clothes, layers of blankets, and a vapor barrier such as a tarp or plastic garbage bag. Follow the instructions of the 911 operator until medical help arrives.

Next week, we'll discuss the risk of frostbite.

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Mike Schofield

Mike Schofield
President & CEO

Member ARAN Insurance Services Group

10851 N. Black Canyon Highway, Suite 200, Phoenix, AZ 85029