A previously healthy patient with mild hypothermia and a clear history of environmental exposure may not require an extensive laboratory workup. In all other hypothermic patients, further diagnostic studies are indicated to assess for comorbid conditions as well as complications of hypothermia, including electrolyte derangements, rhabdomyolysis, and coagulation disorders. If secondary hypothermia is suspected, further testing to evaluate for infection, injury, or predisposing illness is also indicated.
As with any ED patient with altered mental status, a fingerstick glucose test should be obtained on arrival. Both hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia are associated with hypothermia.
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