Baby It’s Cold Outside: Review of Current Literature and Protocols of Resuscitation of the Accidental Hypothermic Patient
By M. Subramanian, MD and J. Haber, MD
With Punxsutawney Phil predicting another 6 weeks of winter, it’s time for a review of literature on resuscitation of the hypothermic patient. Hypothermia can be a source of anxiety for the emergency physician. The risk of malignant arrest or arrhythmia is very high (and should be expected to occur) in any patient with a core body temperature under 32 degrees Celsius, despite rewarming and resuscitation; this is due to a phenomenon called Rescue Collapse or Afterdrop. Morbidity and mortality are very high in these patients, with less than 50-60% of patients survive neurologically intact after experiencing hypothermic arrest. While there are very few studies on hypothermia resuscitation, there exists some interesting opinions on protocols.
Let’s start at the beginning….
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