On hypothermia

On days like today (high of 20°F in New York City), I often wonder how close I am to hypothermia. Wikipedia defines three stages of a cooling body temperature:

  • Stage 1 (1-2°C below normal body temperature): light shivering and goosebumps (which are ineffective in humans)
  • Stage 2 (2-4°C below normal body temperature): with strong shivering, pale skin and blue extremities
  • Stage 3 (8°C below normal body temperature): puffy blue skin, cognitive failures, “terminal burrowing,” “paradoxical undressing,” and eventually death

The verdict: keep your head covered and don’t fall in the water when it’s butt cold outside. If you take off all your clothes and start burrowing, the end is probably near.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s