Hypothermia is not a condition to be taken lightly. As much as it’s easy to assume it can only happen in winter or if you fall into cold water, it can happen in a number of environments and in any season. No matter what the scenario, time is of the essence in getting a hypothermic individual on the path to recovery, so CSAR member Joel (a paramedic with additional team training specific to hypothermia) has put together some ‘Cold Notes’ on recognizing, treating and preventing hypothermia.


In wilderness environments, hypothermia results from:


Hypothermia can be divided into mild, moderate, and severe stages:




People who are cold stressed with light shivering are encouraged to walk/run/do light exercise to re-warm themselves. If they are shivering vigorously with the ‘Umbles’ they should be positioned laying flat. Move and touch them as gently as possible, keeping them flat to avoid triggering heart irregularities. Prevent further heat loss by removing them from the environment, removing wet clothing and packaging them to get to the hospital. The packaging, or ‘hypothermia wrap’, should have lots of insulation (clothes/blankets) wrapped around the patient and a vapour barrier wrapped around the outside of the insulation.

Some tips to stay warm and dry:


Keep cool folks, but don’t freeze.


Thanks Joel!

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