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HELPLINE: ☎ 1800 633 634

Our hypothermia solicitors operate the no win no fee scheme which is totally without risk. You only pay legal charges if the case is won. There are no upfront charges to pay whatsoever. If you would like to discuss your potential compensation claim with a specialist medical negligence solicitor just complete the contact form or email our lawyers offices or use the solicitors helpline. Once you have provided sufficient information you will speak with a hypothermia solicitor who will advise you on the prospects of success for your claim and an estimated amount of compensation that may be awarded. Our advice is totally without cost and there is no further obligation to use our legal services. Do yourself justice and give us a call.

Our hypothermia solicitors have offices situated in Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth, Darwin, and Sydney.

Hypothermia Overview

Hypothermia is usually a condition of being out in the cold weather too long without proper protection but it can also occur indoors if a person is elderly and the ambient temperature is low enough to cause hypothermia. It occurs when the body loses heat much faster than it can produce. The body temperature drops and you may feel clumsy, confused and sleepy. It is a disease that usually happens so gradually, you don't realize you are suffering from it. It can lead to your death if you don't get swift medical attention. It is made worse if you don't have a lot of body fat, are an infant or get wet outdoors in the cold. The wind can also make it worse and you need to pay attention to the wind chill.

Hypothermia can be associated with frostbite, which is frozen body tissue, frost nip (when the body areas turn white and numb but not to the level of frostbite), and chilblains, which is red, swollen skin due to inflamed blood vessels from the cold.

Symptoms of hypothermia usually begin with shivering. It is the body's natural defence against cold temperature and is the body's attempt to get warm by fasciculating the muscles. You then become clumsy and lack coordination. You stumble, even on normal terrain. You have mumbling or slurred speech and confusion and problems thinking. You try to remove your close in an act of poor decision-making because you feel warm instead of cold. You can be drowsy and have a low energy level. You cease to be concerned about your welfare and are apathetic about the experience. You can have a weak pulse, shallow breathing and a loss of consciousness.

Mild hypothermia, such as you'd see in a home that was poorly heated, include lack of coordination, confusion, nausea, vomiting, dizziness and fatigue. Infants with hypothermia can have very cold skin that is bright red and low energy or apathy.

Conditions that lead to the development of hypothermia include staying outside too long, wearing clothes that are not sufficient to keep out the cold, being unable to get out of wet clothes, having inadequate home heating measures, having air conditioning that is cold, and accidentally falling in cold water, such as with boating or ice fishing.

Your body can lose heat through radiation from the body, especially your head and hands. It can come from direct contact with the cold ground or cold water. This increases the rate of loss of heat. If it is windy, you can lose heat faster than in still air. If you are older, you are more vulnerable to heat loss. The same is true for young children and babies. If you have a mental impairment or mental illness, you are at risk for developing hypothermia. Dementia patients have an increased risk of getting hypothermia. If you use drugs or alcohol, you can be at greater risk of having hypothermia and some medical disorders, like hypothyroidism, put you at risk of developing hypothermia. Stroke and malnutrition, Parkinson's disease and arthritis, or spinal cord injuries all increase the risk of hypothermia. Certain drugs for mental illness can impair the body's discernment of cold temperatures.

Treatment of hypothermia depends on the degree of hypothermia you have. For mild hypothermia, there are passive rewarming techniques such as using a warm blanket, removing cold and wet clothing and using a radiant heater to keep the person warm. For more severe hypothermia, the treatments include active rewarming, such as using warm, humidified air or oxygen and using warm IV fluids. Sometimes paracentesis is performed, which involves putting warm fluids into the abdominal space and removing it later in some cases.

If left without treatment, hypothermia can result in end organ failure and death. Other cold related injuries that can come from hypothermia include frostbite, gangrene of the fingers, foot or toes, and chilblains. Trench foot comes from prolonged immersion of the feet in cold water when the weather is cold. The nerves and tiny blood vessels of the feet are damaged by the exposure.

HELPLINE: ☎ 1800 633 634

Medical Negligence Solicitors

Our personal injury solicitors operate a specialist medical negligence compensation service. Our Hypothermia solicitors deal with claims using a no win no fee arrangement which means that if you don't win then you don't pay them their professional costs. If you would like legal advice at no cost with no further obligation just complete the contact form or email our lawyers offices or use the helpline and a Hypothermia solicitor will review your medical negligence compensation claim and phone you immediately.

HELPLINE: ☎ 1800 633 634

The author of the substantive medical writing on this website is Dr. Christine Traxler MD whose biography can be read here