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Hypothermia

Scott T. Henderson, MD Reviewed 06/2018
 


BASICS

DESCRIPTION

  • A core temperature of <35°C (95°F)

  • May take several hours to days to develop

  • Patients with cold-water immersion may appear dead but can sometimes still be resuscitated.

  • System(s) aff...

DIAGNOSIS

HISTORY

Presentation varies with the temperature of the patient at the time of presentation. 
ALERT

History of prolonged exposure to cold may make the diagnosis obvious, but hypothermia may be ...

TREATMENT

GENERAL MEASURES

  • Prehospital (1)[C]

    • Factors to guide treatment

      • Level of consciousness

      • Shivering intensity

      • Cardiovascular stability based on blood pressure and cardiac rhythm

      • ABCs of basic life...

ONGOING CARE

FOLLOW UP RECOMMENDATIONS

Patient Monitoring

  • During acute episode

    • Monitor cardiac rhythm.

    • Monitor electrolytes and glucose frequently.

    • Monitor urinary output.

    • Follow blood gases.

  • Following acu...

REFERENCES

1
Zafren K, Giesbrecht GG, Danzl DF, et al. Wilderness Medical Society practice guidelines for the out-of-hospital evaluation and treatment of accidental hypothermia: 2014 update. Wilderness...

ADDITIONAL READING

  • Petrone P, Asensio JA, Marini CP. Management of accidental hypothermia and cold injury. Curr Probl Surg.  2014;51(10):417–431. [View Abstract on OvidMedline]

  • Rischall ML, Rowla...

SEE ALSO

  • Frostbite; Nonfatal Drowning

  • Algorithm: Hypothermia

CODES

ICD10

  • T68.XXXA Hypothermia, initial encounter

  • T68.XXXD Hypothermia, subsequent encounter

  • T68.XXXS Hypothermia, sequela

ICD9

991.6 Hypothermia 

SNOMED

  • 386689009 Hypothermia (finding)

  • 83966006 Hypothermia...

CLINICAL PEARLS

  • The most common cause of hypothermia in the United States is cold exposure due to alcohol intoxication.

  • With a severely decreased core temperature, begin resuscitation (if possible) unl...

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