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Pediatr Emerg Med Pract. 2019 Jan;16(1):1-16. Epub 2019 Jan 1.

Management of pediatric hypothermia and peripheral cold injuries in the emergency department.

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Pediatric Emergency Medicine Fellow, Cincinnati Children's Hospital, Cincinnati, OH.
Pediatric Emergency Medicine Attending Physician, Children's Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN.


Hypothermia occurs when the core body temperature falls below 35ºC (95ºF) due to primary exposure (eg, environmental exposure) or secondary to other pathologies. Infants, children, and adolescents are at higher risk for primary cold injuries due to a combination of physiologic and cognitive factors, but quick rewarming and appropriate disposition can result in survival and improved neurological outcomes. Treatment for cold injuries is guided by severity and can include passive or active measures. This issue reviews the stages of hypothermia and offers recommendations for emergent management of pediatric patients with hypothermia; guidance is also provided for the identification and management of frostnip and frostbite.


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