This section refers to overexposure of the human body to the elements. You will learn about hypothermia (dropping of body temperature below normal levels), hyperthermia (rising of body temperature above normal levels) and frostbite.
Body core temperature greater than 38 degrees.
The normal body core temperature is 37 degrees Celsius. In hot, humid conditions eg. working outdoors, sport, fun runs, water sports activities; people are at risk of heat illness. Children, babies and the elderly are more at risk of suffering from Hyperthermia. If they suffer from hyperthermia, a Doctor MUST see them.
Body core temperature less than 37 degrees.
Hypothermia occurs when the body loses heat quicker than it can produce it. The core temperature of the body decreases. This causes muscular and internal body organ functions to become impaired and if left untreated, to cease functioning, causing death. It is frighteningly easy for a casualty to become hypothermic. The casualty’s condition can progress quickly, from cold to dangerously cold due to a combination of wind, wet clothing, fatigue and hunger, even if the temperature is above freezing. The temperature and the wind can reduce the body temperature quickly.
Freezing Cold Injury / Frostbite
Frostbite results from the freezing of tissues causing ice crystal formation and blocking of small blood vessels. The areas most commonly affected are those exposed to cold or windy conditions are face, ears, fingers and toes