Occurence of hypothermia in a prehospital setting, southern Sweden

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Abstract

Abstract Severe accidental hypothermia mainly affects victims of outdoor accidents. However, hypothermia can also occur in non-traumatized indoor patients. The aim of this study was to examine the occurrence of hypothermia obtained at the scene of the rescue in patients classified as priority 1 cases during two three-month periods in southern Sweden.
This prospective, clinical cohort study was performed in a prehospital setting, southern Sweden. Ninety-four patients were included during two three-month periods. According to
where the patients were found they were split into two groups, outdoor or indoor and then separated into three categories; general medicine-, trauma- and intoxicated patients. The environment temperature was measured on arrival according to the location where the rescue occurred and core temperatures (tympanic membrane) of patients were measured in connection with the monitoring in the ambulance before departure and at the time of arrival to the
emergency room at the hospital.
This study demonstrated that the only group that shows body core temperature below 36 C, was the outdoor intoxication-group during the winter-period (35.7 ± 1.3 C). We conclude that intoxicated patients are at higher risk for hypothermia than minor trauma patients.

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Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Health Care Service and Management, Health Policy and Services and Health Economy
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)76-79
JournalInternational Emergency Nursing
Volume18
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2010
Peer-reviewedYes