Survival Guide to Homelessness

No matter where you go, there you are.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Cold First Aid

If you are soaked, and it is cold, remove your clothes. It is better to be dry, cold, and naked than to be wet, cold, and clothed. You can die very rapidly from hypothermia, and one of the first symptoms is stupidity. You forget how to treat hypothermia. That means you must act fast and prevent it. Do not stubbornly wear cold, wet clothes for social reasons. Remove clothes, find shelter, and find dry coverings.

You can warm yourself by eating fats. A stick of butter or margarine is fuel to burn.

Learn CPR. The American Heart Association believes that between 100,000 and 200,000 people could be saved each year if CPR were performed early enough in the crisis.

Never assume that a cold person is dead. Continue CPR until a doctor or paramedic takes over. People have survived drowning in cold water for more than an hour. Even paramedics will not assume that a person without a heartbeat or respiration is dead unless he is warm and dead.


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