IVCH Opens Warming Center

Community Happenings
Jan 07, 2014
8:00 AM

With temperatures expected to remain bitterly cold this week, Illinois Valley Community Hospital will keep its cafeteria open around the clock to serve as a warming center for people who need relief from the cold.

            Anyone who wishes to warm up at IVCH can enter the hospital through its West Street entrance until 8:00 p.m. and then through the emergency department on the east side of IVCH after 8:00 p.m.

Hypothermia risk

Medical experts say cold weather can present special challenges for older adults. Among the most dangerous is hypothermia, a potentially fatal drop in body temperature. According to the National Institute on Aging, early signs of hypothermia include:

  • Cold feet and hands.
  • A puffy or swollen face.
  • Pale skin.
  • Lots of shivering.
  • Slower than normal speech or slurring words.
  • Acting sleepy.

In later stages, a person with hypothermia may move slowly; have trouble walking; and have stiff, jerky limb movements. If hypothermia is suspected, the NIA advises taking the person’s temperature and calling 911 if it doesn't rise above 96 degrees. Until help arrives, cover the person with a warm blanket, towels, a coat or whatever is handy.