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Can J Surg. 1990 Dec;33(6):457-60.

Update on trauma care in Canada. 5. Trauma and hypothermia.

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Department of Emergency Medicine, St. Joseph's Hospital, Hamilton, Ont.


Trauma may be accompanied by hypothermia in all climates. Because of the associated increased death rate due to hypothermia (core body temperature less than 35 degrees C), traumatized patients must be protected from it. The body maintains heat balance by hypothalamic regulation of endogenous heat generation and heat loss. Decreased core temperature causes generalized physiologic deceleration and homeostatic disturbances in all organ systems. To prevent hypothermia in polytraumatized patients a number of methods may be used: warming crystalloid, increasing ambient temperature, the use of warming devices, irrigation of body cavities with warmed fluids, heating of inspired gases and, in severe cases when there is circulatory instability, the use of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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