Umbles Described by Dr. Nicholas Murch: Grumbles, Fumbles, Mumbles, Stumbles, Crumbles

Umbles Described by Dr. Nicholas Murch: Grumbles, Fumbles, Mumbles, Stumbles, Crumbles

During the episode, Dr. Murch talks about the different stages of hypothermia that he describes as umbles” grumbles (ie., negative outlook, shivering, clouding of judgment), fumbles (i.e., touch each finger with their thumb to check fine motor movement, shivering), mumbles (i.e., slurring of words), stumbles (i.e., inability to walk), crumbles (loss of consciousness, potential for heart problems, medical emergency).

In Episode 13 of the SwimOut podcast by English Channel swimmers Hunter Charlton and Vicki Carter, called The Limits of Obsession with Kevin Murphy and Frank Chalmers with marathon swimmer and hypothermia expert Dr. Nick Murch.

Dr. Murch described the umbles, the physiological effects on a swimmer during different stages of hypothermia. See below and listen here.

Stage 1 (32°C-35°C core body temperature): the grumbles where the swimmer experiences a negative outlook and starts shivering with various clouding of judgment.

Stage 2 (28°C-32°C core body temperature): the fumbles where fine motor movement starts to be impaired and shivering continues.

Stage 3 (below 28°C core body temperature): the mumbles where the swimmer begins a slurring of their words and is shivering.

Stage 4 (below 28°C core body temperature): the stumbles where the swimmer experiences an inability to walk unaided and is shivering.

Stage 5 (below 28°C core body temperature): the crumbles where there may be a loss of consciousness as drop blood pressure and heart problems may occur, representing a medical emergency when the body cannot shiver.

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Steven Munatones