We were starving at this point after having flown in early so I was immediately drawn to the food…. This is why Iceland is truly the land of fire and ice! It has both equally! It was quite literally covered in snow and yet bubbling from the sand — all at the same time. Yesterday, at Laugarvatn Fontana, we ate the most delicious rye bread baked in this hole heated by natural geothermal activity.
It was sweet too which is right up my street! Iceland Geothermal. And whisked back to the main building where we were all eagerly waiting to see what it looked like….
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Within minutes of walking around, I could feel the cold on my feet with my regular shoes and when Georgia suggested we go and look for proper snow shoes, it turned out to be the best suggestion of the morning as those shoes made such a huge difference! When we spent hours looking at the Northern Lights, these shoes made all the difference!
Viktor rather deftly soon saw to slicing up pieces of the bread for us to try with some local butter…. Absolutely delightful. It was warm so the butter melted on it and it is easily the best rye bread I had tasted at that point. I went back for seconds, thirds, forths and even fifths…. And all of this before even tucking into lunch! The lunch has a good selection of hot and cold foods — all fresh and all delicious! And of course, there was stuff for people with a sweet-tooth like me!
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It was for us to take home and boy was I ecstatic! I get the sense that Viktor knew how much I was enjoying this rye bread and did me the hugest favour by giving me this piece to take home. Lunch over, we went out to check out the geothermal pools. And so off we went into the cold again but this time, dipped into a rather warm pool and taking in the beauty of the Icelandic landscape.
Email address:. Severe Hypothermia - core temperature 92 - 86 degrees and below immediately life threatening Shivering occurs in waves, violent then pause, pauses get longer until shivering finally ceases - because the heat output from burning glycogen in the muscles is not sufficient to counteract the continually dropping core temperature, the body shuts down on shivering to conserve glucose Person falls to the ground, can't walk, curls up into a fetal position to conserve heat Muscle rigidity develops - because peripheral blood flow is reduced and due to lactic acid and CO2 buildup in the muscles Skin is pale Pupils dilate Pulse rate decreases at 90 degrees the body tries to move into hibernation, shutting down all peripheral blood flow and reducing breathing rate and heart rate.
Death from Hypothermia Breathing becomes erratic and very shallow Semi-conscious Cardiac arrythmias develop, any sudden shock may set off Ventricular Fibrillation Heart stops, death 5. If the person is hypothermic, they won't be able to do it. Try to open their arm up from the fetal position, if it curls back up, the person is alive. Dead muscles won't contract only live muscles. Use sobriety test, if unable to walk a 30 foot straight line, the person is hypothermic. Death may occur before this temperature is reached.
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Treating Hypothermia The basic principles of rewarming a hypothermic victim are to conserve the heat they have and replace the body fuel they are burning up to generate that heat. Mild - Moderate Hypothermia 1. Add Heat Fire or other external heat source Body to body contact. Get into a sleeping back, in dry clothing with a normothermic person in lightweight dry clothing Severe Hypothermia 1.
Reduce Heat Loss Hypothermia Wrap : The idea is to provide a shell of total insulation for the patient. No matter how cold, patients can still internally rewarm themselves much more efficiently than any external rewarming. Make sure the patient is dry , and has a polypropylene layer to minimize sweating on the skin. The person must be protected from any moisture in the environment.
Use multiple sleeping bags, wool blankets, wool clothing, Ensolite pads to create a minimum of 4" of insulation all the way around the patient, especially between the patient and the ground. Include an aluminum "space" blanket to help prevent radiant heat loss, and wrap the entire ensemble in plastic to protect from wind and water. Give a dilute mixture of warm water with sugar every 15 minutes. This will be absorbed directly into the blood stream providing the necessary calories to allow the person to rewarm themselves. Do not give full strength Jello even in liquid form, it is too concentrated and will not be absorbed.
Urination - people will have to urinate from cold diuresis. Vasoconstriction creates greater volume pressure in the blood stream. The kidneys pull off excess fluid to reduce the pressure so the person will urinate. In order to reduce the potential heat lost from wet clothing fashion a 'diaper" for the person inside the hypothermia wrap and wrap that with a garbage bag. That will serve to allow them to urinate and prevent the wetness from leading to evaporative heat loss.
You will need to keep them hydrated with the dilute Jello solution described above. Add Heat Heat can be applied to transfer heat to major arteries - at the neck for the carotid, at the armpits for the brachial, at the groin for the femoral, at the palms of the hands for the arterial arch. Hot water bottles, warm rocks, towels, compresses For a severely hypothermic person, rescue breathing can increase oxygen and provide internal heat. Afterdrop Is a situation in which the core temperature actually decreases during rewarming.
As a result CPR may be contraindicated for some hypothermia situations: 1. CPR Procedures Check radial pulse, between If no discernible heartbeat begin CPR and be prepared to continue - persons with hypothermia have been given CPR for up to 3. Factors influencing cold injuries Low ambient temperature Wind chill - increases rate of freezing dramatically Moisture - wet skin freezes at a higher temp than dry Insulation Contact with metal or supercooled liquids white gas Exposed skin Vasodilation Vasoconstriction Previous cold injuries Constricting garments Local pressure Cramped position Body type Dehydration Women do better in cold than men greater subcutaneous body fat Caloric intake Diabetes, some medications Alcohol Caffeine, nicotine 2.
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Surface frostbite generally involves destruction of skin layers resulting in blistering and minor tissue loss. Blisters are formed from the cellular fluid released when cells rupture. Cold Response Circulation is reduce to the are to prevent heat loss. The area may be pale, cold. It may have sensation or be numb. Frostnip Freezing of top layers of skin tissue It is generally reversible White, waxy skin, top layer feels hard, rubbery but deeper tissue is still soft Numbness Most typically seen on cheeks, earlobes, fingers, and toes Treatment Rewarm the area gently, generally by blowing warm air on it or placing the area against a warm body part partner's stomach or armpit Do not rub the area - this can damage the effected tissue by having ice crystals tear the cell 6.
Rewarming of Frostbite Rewarming is accomplished by immersion of the effected part into a water bath of - degrees F. No hotter or additional damage will result. This is the temperature which is warm to your skin. Monitor the temperature carefully with a thermometer. Remove constricting clothing.
Place the appendage in the water and continue to monitor the water temperature. This temperature will drop so that additional warm water will need to be added to maintain the - degrees. Do not add this warm water directly to the injury.
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The water will need to be circulated fairly constantly to maintain even temperature. The effected appendage should be immersed for 25 - 40 minutes. Thawing is complete when the part is pliable and color and sensation has returned. Once the area is rewarmed, there can be significant pain. Discontinue the warm water bath when thawing is complete.
Do not use dry heat to rewarm. It cannot be effectively maintained at - degrees and can cause burns further damaging the tissues. Once rewarming is complete the injured area should be wrapped in sterile gauze and protected from movement and further cold. Once a body part has been rewarmed it cannot be used for anything. Also it is essential that the part can be kept from refreezing.
Refreezing after rewarming causes extensive tissue damage and may result in loss of tissue. If you cannot guarantee that the tissue will stay warm, do not rewarm it. Mountaineers have walked out on frozen feet to have them rewarmed after getting out with no tissue loss. Once the tissue is frozen the major harm has been done. Keeping it frozen will not cause significant additional damage. Special Considerations for Frostbite If the person is hypothermic and frostbitten, the first concern is core rewarming.
Do not rewarm the frostbitten areas until the core temp approaches 96 degrees. No alcohol - vasodilation may increase fluid buildup No smoking - nicotine as a vasoconstrictor may increase chances for developing frostbite Liquids such as white gas can "supercool" in the winter drop below their freezing point but not freeze. White gas also evaporates quickly into the air.
Spilling supercooled white gas on exposed skin leads to instant frostbite from evaporative cooling. Always were gloves when handling fuel. Touching metal with bare skin can cause the moisture on your skin to freeze to the metal. In really cold conditions, metal glasses frames can be a problem. When you pull away, you may leave a layer of skin behind. Don't touch metal with bare skin. Trench Foot - Immersion Foot Trench foot is a process similar to chillblains.
Treatment and Prevention of Trench foot Includes careful washing and drying of the feet, gentle rewarming and slight elevation. Since the tissue is not frozen as in severe frostbite it is more susceptible to damage by walking on it. Cases of trench foot should not walk out; they should be evacuated by litter. Pain and itching are common complaints. Give Ibuprofen or other pain medication.
Prevention is the best approach to dealing with trench foot. Keep feet dry by wearing appropriate footwear. Check your feet regularly to see if they are wet. If your feet get wet through sweating or immersion , stop and dry your feet and put on dry socks. Periodic air drying, elevation, and massage will also help. Change socks at least once a day and do not sleep with wet socks. Be careful of tight socks which can further impair peripheral circulation. Foot powder with aluminum hydroxide can help.
High altitude mountaineers will put antiperspirant on their feet for a week before the trip. The active ingredient, aluminum hydroxide will keep your feet from sweating for up to a month and their are no confirmed contraindications for wearing antiperspirant. When you are active and you are wearing a vapor barrier sock, you must carefully monitor how you sweat. If you are someone who sweats a lot with activity, your foot and polypropylene liner sock may be totally soaked before the body shuts down sweating.
Having this liquid water next to the skin is going to lead to increased heat loss. This is when the vapor barrier system is working. You must experiment to determine if vapor barrier systems will work for you. Chillblains Caused by repeated exposure of bare skin to temperatures below 60 degrees Redness and itching of the effected area Particularly found on cheeks and ears, fingers and toes Women and young children are the most susceptible The cold exposure causes damage to the peripheral capillary beds, this damage is permanent and the redness and itching will return with exposure Eye Injuries a.
Freezing of Cornea Caused by forcing the eyes open during strong winds without goggles Treatment is very controlled, rapid rewarming e. After rewarming the eyes must be completely covered with patches for 24 - 48 hours. Eyelashes freezing together Put hand over eye until ice melts, then can open the eye c. Snowblindness Sunburn of the eyes Prevention by wearing good sunglasses with side shields or goggles.
Eye protection from sun is just as necessary on cloudy or overcast days as it is in full sunlight when you are on snow. Snow blindness can even occur during a snow storm if the cloud cover is thin. Traveling in cold weather conditions can be life threatening. Cold sensation, goose bumps, unable to perform complex tasks with hands, shiver can be mild to severe, hands numb.
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