Archive for January 16th, 2008


Wednesday, January 16th, 2008

Passport to Texas from Texas Parks and Wildlife

In January, temperatures in some state parks can drop below 19 degrees. Cold temperatures and strong winds increase Texans risk for hypothermia.

Dorian Drigalla is an assistant professor of Emergency Medicine at Scott and White Memorial Hospital.

Hypothermia is a condition where the body’s temperature drops below normal and certain physiologic changes happen the body because of that.

There are three stages of hypothermia:

Stage one – or mild hypothermia – is when the body’s temperature drops from what is considered normal down between 1 and 3 degrees below that. Stage two becomes a little bit more obvious in that the person starts to realize they are more than just cold and while they are still conscious, they do realize that they are shivering more, the shivering becomes more noticeable and the rest of the body’s movements are less coordinated. It’s at this point that the body starts to appear more pale. Stage three is when the body temperature drops below ninety degrees. At this point, the body’s reflexes start to fail, the shivering intended in the prior two stages to help warm the body starts to fail. Concentration, speaking and thinking become more difficult.

Severe hypothermia can lead to organ failure and death.

Back country treatment of hypothermia tomorrow.

That’s our show…with research and writing help from Kate Lipinski… For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.