Hypothermia: quick hits

7 Aug


<35 degress Celcius, but most compensatory processes fail at 32 degrees


Major causes OTHER than the environment:

  • Sepsis,
  • Spinal cord injury,
  • brain injury,
  • hypothyroidism,
  • hypoglycemia,
  • hypoadrenalism,
  • hypopituitarism.


ECG changes:

  • T wave inversion,
  • interval prolongation,
  • may look like a fib due to tremors,
  • Osborne or J waves.


General progression:

sinus brady ->A fib -> slow vent response -> eventually asytole


Potential Problems:

sudden stimulation of the irritable myocardium can result in v tach or fib (Handle patient carefully)

Dyrhythmias can occure with body temps below 30.

ABG is inaccurate: Will report higher partial pressure of the gases and a lower pH

Cold Diuresis




Submitted by J. Stanton.


References: uptodate.com; picture



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