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Wilderness Environ Med. 2014 Dec;25(4):425-45. doi: 10.1016/j.wem.2014.09.002. Epub 2014 Oct 31.

Wilderness Medical Society practice guidelines for the out-of-hospital evaluation and treatment of accidental hypothermia.

Author information

1
Division of Emergency Medicine, Department of Surgery, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA (Drs Zafren, Weiss, and Auerbach); International Commission for Mountain Emergency Medicine (ICAR MEDCOM) (Drs Zafren and Brugger). Electronic address: zafren@alaska.com.
2
Faculty of Kinesiology and Recreation Management, Departments of Anesthesia and Emergency Medicine, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada (Dr Giesbrecht).
3
Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Louisville, School of Medicine, Louisville, KY (Dr Danzl).
4
International Commission for Mountain Emergency Medicine (ICAR MEDCOM) (Drs Zafren and Brugger); European Academy Institute of Mountain Emergency Medicine, Bolzano, Italy (Dr Brugger).
5
University of Nevada School of Medicine, Reno, NV (Dr Sagalyn).
6
Service of Cardiovascular Surgery, University Hospital of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland (Dr Walpoth).
7
Division of Emergency Medicine, Department of Surgery, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA (Drs Zafren, Weiss, and Auerbach).
8
Division of Emergency Medicine, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT (Drs McIntosh, Némethy, and McDevitt).
9
Alaska Regional Hospital, Anchorage, AK (Dr Dow); Denali National Park and Preserve, AK (Dr Dow).
10
University of Washington, Seattle, WA (Dr Schoene).
11
Division of Health Sciences, University of Nevada, Reno, NV (Dr Rodway).
12
Division of Emergency Medicine, Altitude Research Center, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Denver, CO (Dr Hackett); Institute for Altitude Medicine, Telluride, CO (Dr Hackett).
13
Military & Emergency Medicine Department, F. Edward Hébert School of Medicine, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences Bethesda, MD (Dr Bennett).
14
Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Intermountain Medical Center and the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT (Dr Grissom).

Abstract

To provide guidance to clinicians, the Wilderness Medical Society (WMS) convened an expert panel to develop evidence-based guidelines for the out-of-hospital evaluation and treatment of victims of accidental hypothermia. The guidelines present the main diagnostic and therapeutic modalities and provide recommendations for the management of hypothermic patients. The panel graded the recommendations based on the quality of supporting evidence and the balance between benefits and risks/burdens according the criteria published by the American College of Chest Physicians. The guidelines also provide suggested general approaches to the evaluation and treatment of accidental hypothermia that incorporate specific recommendations.

KEYWORDS:

accidental hypothermia; avalanche; cold; hypothermia; resuscitation; rewarming; wilderness medicine

Comment in

PMID:
25443771
DOI:
10.1016/j.wem.2014.09.002
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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