Accident on the frozen lake of Braies, what is hypothermia and what are the remedies to prevent death

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Carlos Laforet Coll
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Seven adults and a 4-month-old child fell between Easter and Easter Monday in the waters of Lake Braies, in South Tyrol, while walking on the frozen surface made fragile by the decidedly warmer temperatures of the last few days. The baby was rushed to the hospital in Innsbruck and is not in danger of life

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The first warm spring sun could have cost the life of a couple of young parents and their baby and more: yesterday, on Easter Monday, in fact, the couple and their 4-month-old baby ended up in the icy waters of the Braies lake, in Val Pusteria, due to the brittle ice. They were still recovered in time by the rescuers.

The child risked thehypothermia, but - rushed to the hospital in Innsbruck - according to the latest news he is out of danger of life. However, a serious problem remains: between Easter and Easter Monday it was 9 people recovered from Lake Braies. All ended up in the frozen water because the ice that covers the lake has collapsed in three different moments.

Beautiful in summer, during the winter Lake Braies becomes an equally enchanting sheet of ice, among other things very popular with tourists. But as temperatures rise, that ice becomes thinner and more fragile, as evidenced by the numerous accidents in the last few hours.

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What is hypothermia

It is a real emergency condition caused by exposure to a low atmospheric temperature or immersion in cold water (but also by diseases such as anorexia nervosa, Wernicke's encephalopathy or Addison's disease) for our body which generally loses heat faster than it rapidly produces it. For this reason, when the body temperature drops below 35 ° C it is extremely dangerous, because in that case the heart, nervous system and other organs cannot function properly.

The symptoms are:

  • chills
  • dizziness
  • fame or nausea
  • rapid breathing
  • difficulty speaking
  • slight sense of confusion
  • loss of coordination
  • increased heart rate
  • fatigue

In more severe cases it is possible that the pulse slows down and you gradually lose consciousness.

The remedies for hypothermia

If not blocked in time, hypothermia can even lead to death. The first thing to do is, needless to say, try to raise your body temperature moving if possible in a warm and dry environment and removing wet clothes and wrapping up in dry blankets, also covering the head and leaving only the face uncovered.

Then it is necessary massage or rubbing the body, drinking warm fluids and making hot compresses, on the rib cage or in the groin, not on the legs or arms, not even on the neck. If you can run to the emergency room, the doctors will be able to intervene with ahemodialysis either a drip to warm the blood, or through the administration of humidified oxygen or with a warm saline solution to warm certain areas of the body.

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Source: South Tyrol

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