Cardiac Arrest Secondary to Accidental Hypothermia: Who Should We Resuscitate?

Robert Willmore
Air Medical Journal 2020, 39 (3): 205-211
Cardiac arrest with a degree of concurrent hypothermia is not a rare presentation. This presentation, often in remote areas, poses a challenge for the prehospital physician because the cause of the arrest will significantly alter decision making and prognostication. Survival from cardiac arrest secondary to accidental hypothermia is significantly greater than that of normothermic arrests when appropriate triage and management decisions are made. The complexity of this decision benefits from a specific algorithm to follow in the event of such a casualty presenting. This article systematically reviews the literature on cardiac arrest secondary to accidental hypothermia and provides recommendations in addition to a novel algorithm to aid the responding prehospital clinician in deciding if a hypothermic resuscitation standard operating procedure should be implemented.

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