Saturday, March 11, 2017

Fact of the day: Paradoxical undressing in fatal hypothermia

Hypothermia causes paradoxical undressing.

This typically occurs during moderate to severe hypothermia, as the person becomes disoriented, confused, and combative. They may begin discarding their clothing, which, in turn, increases the rate of heat loss. It is estimated that twenty to fifty percent of hypothermia related deaths are due to paradoxical undressing.

Why does this happen?

As you know - To prevent loss of heat from the extremities, the body induces vasoconstriction of blood vessels.

Over time, however, the muscles necessary for inducing vasoconstriction become exhausted and fail. The loss of vasomotor tone causes warm blood to rush from the core to the extremities. This results in a kind of "hot flash" that makes victims of severe hypothermia — who are already confused and disoriented — feel as though they're burning up, so they remove their clothes.

Another explanation is cold induced malfunction of the hypothalamus.

The exact cause, however, is not known.

-IkaN

3 comments:

  1. Now I understood the film Mount Everest

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am yet to watch the film but I can guess it has a similar ending?

      Delete
  2. Now I understood the film Mount Everest

    ReplyDelete

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