Hypothermia

Guidelines:

  1. Consider hypoglycemia
  2. Measure temperature
  3. Decrease heat loss by moving patient to a heated environment, handle patient gently, and cover with warm blankets.
    1. Mild Hypothermia: Remove wet clothing; cover the patient with warm dry blankets.
    2. Moderate Hypothermia: Avoid excess stimulation; heart will be irritable, thermal blanket, heat pack to groin, neck, axilla, and administer warm oxygen if available.
    3. Severe Hypothermia: Heated oxygen, heated IV fluids, gastric lavage with warm isotonic fluids.
  4. In cardiac arrest, defibrillation limited to 1 shock (2 J/kg)
  5. A patient is not dead until the patient is “warm and dead”. Warm is defined as 32°C

Citations/References:

  1. Block, J., Lilienthal, M., Cullen, L., White, A. (2012). Evidence-Based Thermoregulation for Adult Trauma Patients. Critical Care Nursing Quarterly, 35 (1): 50-63
  2. Ellis, J. (2005). Neonatal Hypothermia. Journal of Neonatal Nursing, 11: 76-82

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