With winter comes the risk of hypothermia. Hypothermia, defined as below-normal body temperature, can be life-threatening if not promptly treated.
According to the National Institute on Aging (NIA), older people have an increased risk for hypothermia. As people age, the natural ability to keep warm in the cold may decrease. Inactivity, illness, and certain medicines make it even harder to stay warm.
Symptoms of hypothermia may include:
Call 911 if you think you may have hypothermia.
Hypothermia is preventable. Some tips for avoiding hypothermia include:
National Association of Area Agencies on Aging
National Institute on Aging
Alberta Health and Wellness
Seniors Canada On-line
Hypothermia. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated October 4, 2011. Accessed July 19, 2012.
Hypothermia: a cold weather hazard. National Institute on Aging website. Available at: http://www.nia.nih.gov/newsroom/2011/02/hypothermia-cold-weather-hazard. Updated May 15, 2012. Accessed July 19, 2012.
Warning signs of hypothermia. National Institute on Aging website. Available at: http://www.nia.nih.gov/health/publication/stay-safe-cold-weather-learn-why-you-need-stay-warm-when-its-cold/warning-signs. Updated November 21, 2011. Accessed July 19, 2012.
Last reviewed July 2012 by Brian P. Randall, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Copyright © 2012 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.
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