December 20, 2017

Breaking the ice on hypothermia


Ambulance service gets chilly in training
By ALYSSA ADAM
The Garrison-Max Ambulance Service undergoes the best kind of training in preparing for the worst. As temperatures drop and wintery weather hits the state, the likelihood of hypothermia in patients rises.
Each month, the service undergoes training, usually based on the season, co-manager Craig Comes said. For December, the importance to respond as quickly as possible to each call is stressed, in hopes of preventing hypothermia or other cold-weather injuries.
One brave responder, Stuart Hammer, took the plunge in a livestock tank full of icy water, demonstrating the effects of cold weather and water on the human body.
Beginning the training session, crew member Luke Zabka described the signs and symptoms of several cold-weather injuries and hypothermia.
“Shivering, slurred speech, mumbling, slow, shallow breathing, weak pulse, clumsiness, lack of coordination, drowsiness, lethargic body, confusion, loss of consciousness,” Zabka said, describing hypothermia. “Look for bright red, really cold skin. Risk factors are prolonged extractions of automobile accidents and environmental exposures.”

The Weather Network