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Me and my friend were camping during winter because he wanted to try icefishing. he gets wet and we go back to camp for him to dry off. he takes off his jacket so it can warm up by the fire. he starts to shiver so i tell him to get a blanket. he eventually gets hypothermia and i get him to go by the fire. he goes unconscious. he has no pulse and is not breathing. i give him CPR until help arrives. After the trip i heard that someone can go into cardiac arrest if put close to a fire while they have hypothermia. is that true? and i was wondering if their airways could narrow becuase of any of this. I saw a tube going down their throat but i didn't know why.


Hi guest,

Yes, someone with hypothermia can go into cardiac arrest.  It is very common.  As your core temperature drops the heartbeat gets irregular.  If we have to move such a patient we use extreme care so as not to induce an arrhythmia (sort of like twitching).  If the core temperature continues to drop the patient will go into cardiac arrest. 

The tube you saw in their mouth actually passes down the throat and into the lungs.  It's an esophageal airway, used to deliver oxygen to the patient.  It has many advantages in that the airway can't be blocked by the tongue, common in unconscious patients, and also air won't be passed into the stomach, thus expelling the stomach contents into the airway.

Hope it helps.