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Severe Cold Weather With Wind Chills Can Be Fatal
Updated February 19, 2015 4:31 AM
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(UNDATED) - The severe cold weather and wind chills also present another danger, one that can be fatal, says Roger Axe, Director of Greene County Emergency Management Agency.

Extreme cold and the possibility of blowing snow overnight will keep travel advisories in effect for Lawrence and other central Indiana counties Thursday morning.

The advisory means that routine travel or activities may be restricted in some areas because of hazardous situations.

Greene and Monroe counties have similar advisories in place.

Bitter cold is gripping the area and forced numerous cancellations Wednesday night and today.

Officials are warning about hypothermia and are advising residents to use precautions when outside and to protect pets.

Hypothermia is defined body core temperatures dropping below 95 degrees F. Mild Hypothermia is defined by shivering, shaking, and mental confusion.

Severe Hypothermia is defined according to an article in Wikipedia: severe hypothermia there may be paradoxical undressing, where a person removes their clothing, as well as an increased risk of the heart stopping. Body temperature is usually maintained near a constant level ...97.7-99.5 °F through biologic homeostasis or thermoregulation. If a person is exposed to cold, and their internal mechanisms cannot replenish the heat that is being lost, the body's core temperature falls. This can occur due to excessive cold or health problems that decrease a person's ability to generate heat.

Alcohol consumption can also lower body temperature. The elderly are more susceptible to Hypothermia because they may have trouble keeping body temperature at safe levels.

The treatment for Hypothermia is not to warm the hands and feet first. That can create a backflow of blood and induce a heart attack. Rather the chest or torso should be warmed first. Then the hands and feet. If an electric blanket is used, raise the heat gradually.

The elderly during this time need to eat more protein to keep their body heat up. Hypothermia can even come if the home is not heated enough. It may cost some more but that is a small price to pay for staying alive.

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