Successful resuscitation in severe accidental hypothermia : a case report
The original publication is available at http://www.samj.org.za
Accidental hypothermia has a mortality rate of 30-80% and should always be borne in mind with comatose, hypotensive patients. It is a preventable condition when adequate safety measures are ensured. One should act in the case of early symptoms, because collapse may soon follow and evacuation of a patient on a stretcher is time-consuming, dangerous and a major undertaking. In severe cases absence of respiration and circulation should not preclude resuscitation. Resuscitation should be continued until the patient is warm and all biochemical abnormalities have been corrected and intoxication has been ruled out. Resuscitation may be successful in primitive, adverse conditions, as illustrated by this case of a 13-year-old boy with cardiopulmonary arrest and a core temperature of only 25°C, who was successfully reanimated.