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Hypothermia

Scott T. Henderson, MD Reviewed 06/2020
 


BASICS

DESCRIPTION

  • Accidental hypothermia is the result of an unanticipated environmental exposure to cold temperatures. It is manifested as a core temperature of <35°C (95°F)

  • May take several hours ...

DIAGNOSIS

HISTORY

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

  • The history is often apparent in the setting of outdoor environmental exposures. It may be less cle...

TREATMENT

GENERAL MEASURES

  • Prehospital (1)[C]

    • Factors to guide treatment

      • Level of consciousness

      • Shivering intensity

      • Cardiovascular stability based on blood pressure and cardiac rhythm

    • Treatment

      • ABCs of basic...

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 acute...

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.

  • Rischall ML, Rowland-Fisher A. Evidence-based mana...

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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