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Am J Med. 2006 Apr;119(4):297-301.

Hypothermia: evaluation, electrocardiographic manifestations, and management.

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  • 1Division of Cardiology, Long Island College Hospital, Brooklyn, NY, USA.


Hypothermia-related cases typically occur after exposure to low ambient temperatures; however, numerous cases occur in individuals with no history of exposure to cold environment. Hypothermia is associated with such complications as acidosis, impaired myocardial function, bleeding diathesis, and decreased kidney and liver function. The well-known electrocardiographic manifestations of hypothermia are the presence of J (Osborn) waves, prolonged PR, QRS, and QT intervals, and atrial arrhythmias. The choice of rewarming therapy is based on the degree of hypothermia. The evaluation, electrocardiographic manifestations, and management of hypothermia are reviewed.

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