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CHEST 2012: Managing Accidental Hypothermia

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The Particulars: The profile of patients presenting to the ED with accidental hypothermia is not well understood from clinical studies.

Data Breakdown: Among patients presenting to an ED with accidental hypothermia during winter months, 14.3% died in the ED and 28.6% passed away within 30 days. More than one-quarter of patients (28.6%) experienced cardiac arrest. A statistically significant association was observed between the patients’ initial temperature, survival rate, and Glasgow coma score at presentation. All patients benefited from combined external and internal reheating therapy.

Take Home Pearl: Accidental hypothermia appears to require complex therapy that focuses on reheating patients, maintaining vital functions, and improving cardiac symptoms.

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