Document Detail

Effect of alcohol on thermal balance of man in cold water.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  497899     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The effects of alcohol on core cooling rates (rectal and tympanic), skin temperatures, and metabolic rate were determined for 10 subjects rendered hypothermic by immersion for 45 min in 10 degrees C water. Experiments were duplicated with and without a 20-min period of exercise at the beginning of cold water immersion. Measurements were continued during rewarming in a hot bath. With blood alcohol concentrations averaging 82 mg 100 mL-1, core cooling rates and changes in skin temperatures were insignificantly different from controls, even if the exercise period was imposed. Alcohol reduced shivering metabolic rate by an overall mean of 13%, insufficient to affect cooling rate. Alcohol had no effect on metabolic rate during exercise. During rewarming by hot bath, the amount of 'afterdrop' and rate of increase in core temperature were unaffected by alcohol. It was concluded that alcohol in a moderate dosage does not influence the rate of progress into hypothermia or subsequent, efficient rewarming. This emphasizes that the high incidence of alcohol involvement in water-related fatalities is due to alcohol potentiation of accidents rather than any direct effects on cold water survival, although very high doses of alcohol leading to unconsciousness would increase rate of progress into hypothermia.
G R Fox; J S Hayward; G N Hobson
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Canadian journal of physiology and pharmacology     Volume:  57     ISSN:  0008-4212     ISO Abbreviation:  Can. J. Physiol. Pharmacol.     Publication Date:  1979 Aug 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1980-01-24     Completed Date:  1980-01-24     Revised Date:  2008-11-21    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0372712     Medline TA:  Can J Physiol Pharmacol     Country:  CANADA    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  860-5     Citation Subset:  IM    
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MeSH Terms
Body Temperature Regulation / drug effects*
Cold Temperature
Ethanol / blood,  pharmacology*
Oxygen Consumption / drug effects
Physical Exertion
Time Factors
Reg. No./Substance:

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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