Hypothermia

While it is normally associated with overexposure to winter elements, hypothermia technically occurs whenever the core body temperature drops below the normal range of 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit (36.5 degrees Celsius). When the core temperature drops below this level, the body’s normal functioning and metabolic rate are adversely affected. Cases of hypothermia are classified as mild, moderate and severe. The main symptom of mild hypothermia is shivering, whereas disorientation, amnesia, confusion and other extreme behaviors are associated with moderate to extreme cases. Treatment involves gradually warming the patient so his or her body temperature returns to normal, though severe hypothermia can have permanent or even fatal consequences.