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Death by extreme cold in a car: how to avoid it?

Death by extreme cold in a car how to avoid it

Ground Report | New Delhi: Death by extreme cold in a car; Heavy snowfall has been continuing in Pakistan’s northern areas like Murree, Galyat and Nathia Gali for the last three days, and the temperature is several degrees below freezing point. At least 21 people have been confirmed dead due to heavy snowfall and rush in adjoining areas including Murree.

Death by extreme cold in a car

Most of those killed were people in cars. Due to the cold weather and snowfall, a large number of tourists have turned to Murree, Galyat, Nathia Gali, and other such areas, causing traffic jams on roads and other routes.  

Trees and electric poles have fallen on the roads due to snowfall and people are trying to know the condition of the people by knocking on the windows of stuck vehicles. When no response is received, an attempt is being made to open the vehicle and help the people inside.

Rescue workers and local people from the local administration of Murree are giving first aid to passengers and unconscious people trapped in vehicles and taking them to safer places.

It is worth noting that tourists were stuck in traffic for hours due to heavy snowfall in Murree after years. Due to prolonged sitting in the car and with the windows closed and the heater turned on, there was a lack of oxygen inside the vehicle, which is reported to have caused many tourists to faint.

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How does death occur in the cold?

The human body has a specific temperature, in which all systems work well, and life goes on. A person’s core body temperature typically stays around 98.6 °F (37 °C). Hypothermia occurs when the core body temperature drops to about 95 F (35 C) or lower. Surprisingly, people can experience hypothermia in relatively cold, but not freezing, air temperatures — around 30 to 50 F (minus 1 to 10 C) — especially if they are wet, such as rain, sweat, or cold water.

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The condition in which the human body temperature drops below the threshold is called hypothermia in medical parlance, which is a medical emergency in which the body begins to lose heat more rapidly than it produces heat, and Body temperature drops to dangerous levels.

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The heart, nervous system, and other organs cannot function normally if the human body temperature drops, and if left untreated, hypothermia can lead to complete failure of the heart and respiratory system, and eventually death, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Who is affected by hypothermia?

As per the doctors, older people can be more affected by severe cold or hypothermia conditions, while this condition can be fatal for people suffering from various diseases.

“Children and the elderly should avoid spending too much time in extremely low temperatures and should take precautions in the presence of such a place.”

Precautions to take in cold areas

Tourists usually carry ordinary shoes and warm clothes to enjoy the snowfall in Murree or other cold regions, which experts say can be dangerous and even deadly in extremely low temperatures.

  • Wear several layers of loose-fitting clothing, mittens, a hat and a face cover when outdoors.
  • Stay dry.
  • Be extra cautious in the wind. A strong wind, even in only moderately cold weather, can cause a wind chill far below freezing.
  • At the first signs of possible frostbite – redness or pain in any skin area – get out of the cold or protect any exposed skin.
  • Watch for hypothermia symptoms.
    • Confusion, drowsiness, slurred speech, a drop in blood pressure, shallow breathing and a pinkish tint to the skin.
    • Anyone with hypothermia symptoms is in immediate danger and should receive medical help right away.
  • Check on elderly or sick people, especially if they live alone or in isolated areas.
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