Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.
Dr. Balentine received his undergraduate degree from McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland. He attended medical school at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine graduating in1983. He completed his internship at St. Joseph's Hospital in Philadelphia and his Emergency Medicine residency at Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center in the Bronx, where he served as chief resident.
If the person is unconscious, having severe breathing difficulty, or is pulseless, call 911 for an ambulance.
Because the victim's heartbeat may be very weak and slow, the pulse check should ideally be continued for at least
one minute before beginning CPR. Rough handling of these victims may cause deadly heart rhythms.
The second priority is re-warming.
Remove all wet clothes and move the person inside.
The victim should be given warm fluids if he or she is able to drink, but do not give the person caffeine or alcohol.
Cover the person's body with blankets and aluminum-coated foils or
other available protective covers (for example, a sleeping bag). Avoid actively heating the victim with outside sources of heat such as radiators or hot water baths. This may only decrease the amount of shivering and slow the rate of core temperature increase.
Strenuous muscle exertion should be avoided; rubbing or massaging the
limbs and exertion may trigger
cardiac arrest in some hypothermic patients.
Some cold exposure (borderline hypothermia), such as
cold hands and feet, may be treated with home care techniques,
but calling a health care professional for advise is recommended.