Accidental Hypothermia: Keep calm and carry on resuscitating
It is a bleak October evening and you are on shift on a rapid response vehicle with a student paramedic. The MDT alerts you to ‘a 78-year-old male with difficulty in breathing’ shortly this is updated to a cardiac arrest. On arrival the patient is very cold… could this be a contributory factor?
Hypothermia in cardiac arrest is not a reversible cause that is encountered very often. This article highlights the importance of critical thinking, shared decision making, and leadership as essential non-technical skills at all cardiac arrests. There is discussion of the pathophysiology of hypothermia and the 4 Hs and 4 Ts assessment system as well as guidance on how to deliver advanced life support considering hypothermia as a contributing factor. This will enable you to use situational awareness in order to offer patients the best possible care.
To check your answers to the quiz please see the back page of the issue.
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