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The Big Chill: Accidental Hypothermia

Davis, Robert Allan ADN, RN

AJN The American Journal of Nursing: January 2012 - Volume 112 - Issue 1 - p 38–46
doi: 10.1097/01.NAJ.0000410362.66308.17
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Overview A potential cause of such emergent issues as cardiac arrhythmias, hypotension, and fluid and electrolyte shifts, accidental hypothermia can be deadly, is common among trauma patients, and is often difficult to recognize. The author discusses predisposing conditions, the classic presentation, and the effects on normal thermoregulatory processes; explains how to conduct a systems assessment of the hypothermic patient; and describes crucial management strategies.

This article discusses the classic presentation of hypothermia, explains how to conduct a systems assessment of the hypothermic patient, and describes crucial management strategies.

Robert Allan Davis is an RN at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth. Contact author: robdavisrn@sbcglobal.net. The author has disclosed no potential conflicts of interest, financial or otherwise.

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.