American Journal of Medical Case Reports
ISSN (Print): 2374-2151 ISSN (Online): 2374-216X Website: Editor-in-chief: Samy, I. McFarlane
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American Journal of Medical Case Reports. 2019, 7(6), 100-103
DOI: 10.12691/ajmcr-7-6-2
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Complete Neurological Recovery after Severe Accidental Hypothermia: Two Cases and a Novel Algorithm Proposal

Khortnal Delvecchio1, , Alexander L Marinica1, Calvin Williams1, Thomas Hanna1, Susan Seman1, Zewditu Asfaw1 and Ingida Asfaw1

1Department of Surgery, Detroit Medical Center - Sinai Grace Hospital, Detroit, USA

Pub. Date: June 04, 2019

Cite this paper:
Khortnal Delvecchio, Alexander L Marinica, Calvin Williams, Thomas Hanna, Susan Seman, Zewditu Asfaw and Ingida Asfaw. Complete Neurological Recovery after Severe Accidental Hypothermia: Two Cases and a Novel Algorithm Proposal. American Journal of Medical Case Reports. 2019; 7(6):100-103. doi: 10.12691/ajmcr-7-6-2


Primary accidental hypothermia results from endogenous thermoregulatory mechanisms being overwhelmed by environmental stressors. Vulnerable populations include the elderly, mentally ill, homeless, and chemically dependent. When core temperatures fall below 35°C, the resulting metabolic derangements provoke cardiopulmonary compromise and dysrhythmia. Due to the human body’s innate protective mechanisms there are reports of patients making complete neurologic recovery after exposure to extreme temperatures and prolonged cardiopulmonary arrest. We describe two cases from our institution demonstrating appropriate treatment methods for the two most severe stages of hypothermia. A 57-year-old male with a core temperature of 27°C who was successfully resuscitated with warm bladder and thoracic lavage and a 34-year-old female with a core temperature of 22°C that fully recovered after 5 hours of external cardiopulmonary bypass. From our experience and a review of the literature, we have developed a modified version of the Swiss staging model and incorporated it into a novel treatment algorithm for in-hospital adult accidental hypothermia patients presenting to urban community hospitals. The two example cases described highlight how appropriate utilization of this novel algorithm can lead to positive outcomes in otherwise critical clinical scenarios.

hypothermia cardiopulmonary bypass extracorporeal membrane oxygenation rewarming case report algorithms

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