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<< Evidence-Based Management Of Accidental Hypothermia In The Emergency Department

Introduction

Accidental hypothermia is defined as the unintentional drop in core body temperature below 35°C (95°F).While accidental hypothermia is most common in cool climates during winter months, it can also occur in warm climates, in any season, and in individuals without a history of outdoor exposure. Accidental hypothermia can occur in a variety of populations, including those in an urban environment. Those at highest risk include homeless individuals, the very young and very old, and individuals with psychiatric disease, serious underlying medical conditions, traumatic injuries, or drug or alcohol intoxication.2,These groups often have impaired thermoregulation, but they also lack the ability to perform the behavioral adaptations to protect themselves from the cold, such as seeking shelter and putting on extra clothing.

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