Notes: Hypothermia and Bug in the Ear


“The affected person becomes increasingly clumsy, unreasonable, irritable, and sleepy. The person’s speech becomes slurred. He or she becomes confused and drowsy, and eventually goes into a coma, with slow, weak breathing and a slow, weak heart rate.” (page 841 of “The American Medical Association Family Medical Guide” cited at end of post)

-if unconscious, check breathing and give artificial respiration if necessary

-shelter victim from cold (cover head and insulate from ground)

-if victim isn’t nauseous, give him warm, non-alcoholic drinks (but don’t force him because the last thing you need is for the drinks to run out the sides of his mouth, down his face, and freeze his head to the ground. That results in an entirely worse series of problems.)

-it is ideal to reheat the person in a warm room

-the more wind, the more danger of cold-related injury

-if the victim has frostbite, rubbing the affected area can cause gangrene

-remember to dry off the victim completely if rewarmed with water (it should be warm water, not hot)

Bug in the Ear

-find a bathtub or sink (can also be done outside)

-tilt the victim’s head so the ear with the bug in it is pointing toward the ceiling or sky with the victim’s head being as parallel to the ground as you can possibly get it

-gently tug the earlobe

-continue tugging and pour warm mineral oil, olive oil, baby oil, or clean warm water into the ear (note: it might be wise to warn the victim to plug their nose and close their eyes beforehand), and the bug should float up and out of the ear

-if it doesn’t come out, you’ll be needing to take the victim to a hospital as attempting manual removal yourself can result in pain and/or hearing damage in the victim


“The American Medical Association Family Medical Guide” Medical Editor: Charles B. Clayman, MD (ISBN: 0-679-41290-5)

“Standard First Aid and Personal Safety” (“Prepared by the American Red Cross”) (ISBN: 0-385-15736-3)