Effect of hypothermia on haemostasis and bleeding risk: a narrative review

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It must be remembered that clinically important haemostasis occurs in vivo and not in a tube, and that variables such as the number of bleeding events and bleeding volume are more robust measures of bleeding risk than the results of analyses. In this narrative review, we highlight trauma, surgery, and mild induced hypothermia as three clinically important situations in which the effects of hypothermia on haemostasis are important. In observational studies of trauma, hypothermia (body temperature <35°C) has demonstrated an association with mortality and morbidity, perhaps owing to its effect on haemostatic functions. Randomised trials have shown that hypothermia causes increased bleeding during surgery. Although causality between hypothermia and bleeding risk has not been well established, there is a clear association between hypothermia and negative outcomes in connection with trauma, surgery, and accidental hypothermia; thus, it is crucial to rewarm patients in these clinical situations without delay. Mild induced hypothermia to ≥33°C for 24 hours does not seem to be associated with either decreased total haemostasis or increased bleeding risk.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3559-3568
JournalJournal of International Medical Research
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Surgery
  • Hematology


  • bleeding
  • coagulopathy
  • haemostasis
  • Hypothermia
  • injury
  • surgery
  • trauma


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