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Noto earthquake hypothermia deaths spark public awareness drive

By Akio Nozawa

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and cover your head and neck to prevent your body heat from escaping

Heat escapes from your body, not just out your head and neck. That's why our armpits get sweaty after hard work or high temperatures. You'd think a doctor would know that. Saying that, I usually wear a hat indoors, too.

222 deaths and 32 caused by hypothermia. Almost 15%? I'm assuming the hypothermia victims were trapped in their houses the first few days, like the 90-year-old woman. I'm hoping they weren't already in evacuation centers (i.e. school gymnasiums) where heat was optional.

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Heat escapes from your body, not just out your head and neck. 

You are right... but most of body heat escapes from the head. On a cold day (like today) go out with a hat feel the diference.

I don't think the doctor ment to that "only" cover your head and neck to keep warm... more like specially keep warm you head and neck.

One thing I don't understand, is why Japan's shelters are so whimsy.... why tents aren't used???

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Hot water bottles, which transmit heat directly to the body, are effective, easy to use and economical,

I couldn't live in winter with out a 湯たんぽ

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Heat escapes from your body, not just out your head and neck. 

most body heat escapes through head and neck.

elderly people seem to have poorer blood circulation thats why they tend to feel cold quicker.

however, there is a phenomenon where people are disconnected from their body impulses and tend to ignore their physical needs. Also dont forget about dementia when the consistent care and support is needed. I bet lot of them should have been in specialized care centers but due to financial problems just stayed at their homes. Now they are in a shelter (which is another warning sign that they dont have anyone to take them from there like children or grandchildren or relatives) where they are left unattended and unsafe but no one seems to notice that in the article. They just say ‘please take care of yourself’, ‘please put on clothes’. Pretending not to see the root of the problem.

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most body heat escapes through head and neck.

That only applies when the person is adequately covered elsewhere except for the head and neck,


The myth is thought to have arisen through a flawed interpretation of a vaguely scientific experiment by the US military in the 1950s. In those studies, volunteers were dressed in Arctic survival suits and exposed to bitterly cold conditions. Because it was the only part of their bodies left uncovered, most of their heat was lost through their heads.

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Terrible there is not an adequate plan that can prevent this.

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Simply Unbelievable.

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Japan had undergone many tough natural disasters historically, but government or ministries who had learn nothing from its history dislike to help general public especially social vulnerables, always force poor evacuation places to evacuees as if it's normal, their man-made disaster have repeatedly increased victim during decades.

No matter how Nikkei index record highest ever, many Japanese people are in poverty, it even causes hypothermia to elderly people who avoided to use heater to save utility cost.

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. . . from a previous article, how others may contribute to Noto Relief efforts,


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Foil hypothermia blankets/sleeping bags cost a couple of quid. Get one for each family member and add them to your quake bag.

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You can get early onset of hypothermia at quite high temperatures, around 15C even, if you are wet and its windy. This can happen quite easily if you are hiking on a mountain and get caught in the rain. Its happened to me cycling in hllly terrain. Long downhills are notoriously cold even in the dry, but can be dangerously so if it starts chucking it down and your jacket is not waterproof. By hypothermia, I mean violent shivering, completely numb hands, a chronic urge to pee every two minutes, and mental fog. It feels like your body is shutting down.

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