Hypothermia is an absolute drop in core temperature that results from environmental change sustained enough for the body’s compensatory mechanisms not cope. That temperature is usually taken to be 35, below which normal homeostasis grinds to a halt. Take home message from this blog though is that if one was normal before hypothermia, one should hopefully not die from this if the complications are taken into account as the hypothermia is treated. Nobody should die of hypothermia unless we really believe God needed him or her by his side, as his body was just animated.
We are given some protective mechanism to fight the external temperature assault that may be imposed on us. We start by shivering up until we shut down organ by organ according to the importance rankings. Frost bite irrespective of how ugly it may seem shunts blood away from the cold skin to avoid more rapid temperature drop thus sacrificing the peripheral appendages including skin. To give one a clearer picture, without hypothermia, some of the most important pioneering surgery could never be done. The drop in temperature we use to operate on the heart is indispensable. The heart may be stopped, operated on and then restarted without major hypoxic injury that would otherwise start only five minutes from having no blood supply.
If a normal human ends up hypothermic and gets presented to a hospital, that being should wake up from his animated state as close to normal as one can get. A literal example would be cold immersion, which is drowning in very cold water. We as doctors get fewer opportunities of claiming the omnipotent status of waking up the dead being in Africa, the hell centre in heat stakes, but every now and then we hear of a doctor declaring somebody dead while still hypothermic. This can only lead to court.
The opposite which is heat stroke is a lot more common in our gold mines with disastrous consequences, but then not much can be done in this instance and the prognosis is bad even in the care of good doctors. The entry port for these patients is also the hospital which makes my blog not as important; we arm the man on the street with knowledge to combat disease. The doctor is expected to have the basics.
If biochemistry and physiology of beauty and health are the elements of every mix, then results are assured