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Thread: Emergency treatment for hypothermia/hypoglycemia

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    Western Arkansas
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    Default Emergency treatment for hypothermia/hypoglycemia

    We've seen a couple post's lately about sudden lethargy/unresponsiveness of seemingly otherwise healthy babies....I felt it might be worthwhile to post the emergency protocol I have used both in the clinic and for my own personal self in these cases. In any emergency the consult of a professional is alway's advised and this does NOT replace the care of a veteriarian by any stretch, but I felt it useful to share nonetheless for those who find themselves with a cold, lifeless baby.

    The typical scenario is the discovery of a baby that is both cold and either extremely lethargic, or comotose. It can look like a completely hopeless situation and one would never guess that in most cases, a baby can be brought back upright and eating within a matter of minutes! Often babies are brought to rehabber's in this situation by wellmeaning finders who just didn't know how to keep a baby warm....or when a baby is found cold and wet. A cold babies body uses sugar stores to try and regain some level of warmth so this situation is one that can happen fast, and spiral downhill in no time.

    The first goal should be to warm the baby. I have found that in these extreme cases, the quickest way to get body temp back to a stable number is water. You MUST have the capability to blow dry baby on a warm setting....if no blow dryer is available, do NOT use the water method. Otherwise, this is what I do.....run very warm, tho not HOT, water into a container big enough to submerse the baby in( think coffee cup). Obviously you do NOT want to allow the head or nose to fall below the water so support the head submersing as much body mass as possible. This allows heat to penetrate every nook and cranny of the baby. After a couple minutes of being in the water most babies will regain some level of conciousness. At this point you can rub a TINY AMOUNT of karo or nutrical around the gums. Only use enough to smear a small layer on the mucous membranes....any more could potentially choke the baby. I keep on hand at all times a bag of injectable dextrose for these purposes but I realize that this won't be available to everyone so the oral sugars are the best alternative.

    After the greater part of the babys body temp has been brought up you can remove him and immediately place him on a heating pad, in a towel, and use a blow dryer on a LOW setting to dry him. Keep the dryer moving constantly and at a good distance from the baby to prevent burns. Stimulate the baby as much as possible by turning him over, rubbing him, talking to him, etc. Once baby is dry, offer more nutrical on the gums in tiny amounts until he becomes more alert and aware of his surroundings. At the point when the baby finally start's to lick the nutrical himself(some frantically start to eat it so watch fingers) you can SLOWLY offer formula a drop at a time. Make SURE the baby is swallowing the formula, if he isn't, revert back to the nutrical for a bit. It will take the baby anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes to regain enough of it's faculties to actually nurse again so follow his lead. Once the baby start's sucking and nursing normally you're in the clear and can start to breath easier and regain your composure

    Some point's of importance are to always keep the baby warm....most of us know this....but to the layperson who thinks a blanket or a warm lap is enough, it is imperative that one realizes that a supplemental heat source is a MUST....also, I have recieved a couple of older, "crashed" babies who were in the weaning phase. Always make SURE baby is eating plenty of solid food's between formula feedings and never allow them to run out of lab block's or water.

    I have seen so many critters that basically looked dead for all practical purposes and it would be very easy to believe there is no hope at all but it is AMAZING the recovery these guy's can make within a small amount of time so never think there isn't hope with a cold, lifeless baby

    Erin
    Western arkansas wayward critter connection
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Wester...08962405816930

  2. 4 TSBers pass along the fuzzy thanks to DipityDane:

    Candyanne2019 (09-02-2019), Marzzi (09-19-2019), sdreamcatcher (12-02-2016), StrawberrySyrup (02-20-2017)

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