Cold Exposure Illness : Get Outdoors

Cold Exposure Illness

by Jan Hackett on 01/16/12

Students often wonder about paradoxial undressing during hypothermia i.e. ripping your clothes off even though your core is cold. This occurs about 25-50% of the time in severe cases of hypothernia. There are two explanations that are common. One is the drop in core body temperature causes the hypothalamus simply to malfunction tricking you into thinking you are warm. The second is that the blood vessels become fatigued from the constant consriction/dilation to regulate body temp. The vessels relax casusing warm blood to flow from the core to the skin fooling the brain into thinking your overheated. Which ever is actual reason the result is the same, off come the clothes!

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