QS Study

Hypothermia

Definition

The decrease of body temperature below normal (below 340 C or 940 F) is called hypothermia. It is a medical emergency that occurs when your body loses heat earlier than it can produce heat, causing a severely low body temperature. If the body temperature keeps falling, the organs begin to fail, and, ultimately, death will occur. Infants and older people are especially at risk.

Cause: Prolonged exposure to cold air or cold water. Normal body temperature is around 98.6 F (37 C). Hypothermia occurs as your body temperature falls below 95 F (35 C).

Symptoms:

  • The patient becomes cold and pale,
  • Consciousness is lost,
  • Respiration and heart rate are very slow,
  • Low blood pressure,
  • Drowsiness or very low energy,
  • Slurred speech.

Cause:

The most familiar causes of hypothermia are contacted to cold-weather conditions or cold water. Other causes are Diabetes, Spinal cord injuries, Parkinson’s disease, Malnutrition etc.

Importance in Surgery: It has been used as a technique to help improve neurologic recovery for people in cardiac arrest.

  • Induced hypothermia has been used extensively in surgery.
  • It lowers the blood pressure and minimizes bleeding.
  • Help to stop and open the heart.
  • Help to perform brain operation.