Document Detail

Electrocardiographic manifestations of hypothermia.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  12098179     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Hypothermia is generally defined as a core body temperature less than 35 degrees C (95 degrees F). Hypothermia is one of the most common environmental emergencies encountered by emergency physicians. Although the diagnosis will usually be evident after an initial check of vital signs, the diagnosis can sometimes be missed because of overreliance on normal or near-normal oral or tympanic thermometer readings. The classic and well-known electrocardiographic (ECG) manifestations of hypothermia include the presence of J (Osborn) waves, interval (PR, QRS, QT) prolongation, and atrial and ventricular dysrhythmias. There are also some less known (ECG) findings associated with hypothermia. For example, hypothermia can produce ECG signs that simulate those of acute myocardial ischemia or myocardial infarction. Hypothermia can also blunt the expected ECG findings associated with hyperkalemia. A thorough knowledge of these findings is important for prompt diagnosis and treatment of hypothermia. Six cases are presented that show these important ECG manifestations of hypothermia.
Amal Mattu; William J Brady; Andrew D Perron
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Case Reports; Journal Article; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The American journal of emergency medicine     Volume:  20     ISSN:  0735-6757     ISO Abbreviation:  Am J Emerg Med     Publication Date:  2002 Jul 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2002-07-04     Completed Date:  2002-07-24     Revised Date:  2007-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8309942     Medline TA:  Am J Emerg Med     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  314-26     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
Copyright 2002, Elsevier Science (USA). All rights reserved.)
Division of Emergency Medicine, Department of Surgery, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Arrhythmias, Cardiac / diagnosis,  etiology*
Dementia, Multi-Infarct / complications
Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / complications
Homeless Persons
Hyperkalemia / complications,  diagnosis
Hypothermia / complications*,  diagnosis*,  etiology
Middle Aged
Substance-Related Disorders / complications

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