Friday, September 5, 2008
Exposure to intense cold
After prolonged exposure to intense cold, your body’s chemical reactions begin to slow until they generate too little energy for your muscles to work. By carefully regulating blood flow, your body will protect your key organs while preserving your extremities—at least for a while. In the cold, blood is generally directed to the core of the body and flows only intermittently to the extremities to bring oxygen to cells there. After prolonged exposure to cold, blood travels only to the most essential parts—your brain and heart. As severe hypothermia sets in, these organs may be the only ones left functioning.