How to avoid hypothermia in cold weather

With the recent drop in temperatures across the borough, residents need to take extra care of themselves to avoid potentially deadly conditions such as hypothermia.



Hypothermia is an emergency medical condition that occurs when the body loses heat faster than it can produce it, and the effects can be deadly. Dr. Chin, chief of emergency medicine at Woodhull Hospital, says the first warning sign of possible onset is shivering.



Chin says the best way to avoid hypothermia is to layer up. He says the first layer should consist of a light and breathable material, followed by a layer of wool or fleece.



The third layer should be an insulated coat or jacket. Those who work outdoors should wear a waterproof jacket or coat as their outermost layer, since snow or rain can actually speed up the hypothermia process.



Chin says it is important to not forget about covering the hands, feet and legs.



If you do get admitted to an emergency room for hypothermia, many hospitals will use a warming blanket to treat you.



To avoid having to be treated for hypothermia, the absolute most important thing Dr. Chin says you can do in frigid weather is to seek warm shelter.


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