Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Coming out of the Cold

15.11.2012
A new medical algorithm for treating accidental hypothermia could mean the difference between life and death.
When rescue teams arrive on the scene, they must make snap decisions on how to treat the patient as well as the evacuation plan. Before now, there were no comprehensive guidelines on how to make these decisions. Thanks to a new paper to be published this week in the New England Journal of Medicine, doctors will be able to respond with more confidence, and save more lives.

A paper to be published in the New England Journal of Medicine will provide clarity on the management and treatment of accidental hypothermia victims. Co-authored by Douglas J.A. Brown, Hermann Brugger, Jeff Boyd and Peter Paal, the paper provides a review of current knowledge of accidental hypothermia, along with a medical algorithm to help emergency medics make rapid on-site decisions.

Accidental hypothermia is an involuntary drop in core body temperature below 35°C (normal core body temperature is 37°C). Although a significant number of deaths related to accidental hypothermia occur annually around the world, there is ambiguity in how to properly transport and treat patients affected by the condition.

“Certain treatment approaches are available only in specialized centers,” the authors write, “and clarification is needed regarding the choice between transporting a patient to a specialized center and providing treatment locally. Existing recommendations do not include recent developments in rewarming methods nor do they assist with decisions regarding transportation.” To fill these kinds of knowledge gaps, the paper includes sections on diagnosis, pre-hospital and hospital treatments, transport protocols and re-warming techniques, providing for the first time clear recommendation for best practices.

The paper outlines clear steps on determining the patient’s condition. If the victim is stable, the paper then suggests the correct transportation procedure to a hospital where the hypothermia symptoms can be treated with minimal invasive techniques, often just an electric blanket. If the victim’s condition is unstable, transportation to a specialised center with techniques of rewarming such as extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) or cardiopulmonary bypass becomes necessary.

Formerly, the abdominal or chest cavity hypothermia had to be opened to warm patients from the inside. The paper suggests that this very invasive technique yields a lower success rate (~10% survival rate) than more modern techniques of invasive rewarming such as ECMO or cardiopulmonary bypass (~50% survival).

Significant to the paper is a new medical algorithm that can help medical personnel arriving on the scene to make faster first-response decisions. Frequently working under the threat of avalanche or inclement weather, alpine doctors are confronted with the choice to transport the victim to an emergency clinic or treat the patient on site, potentially putting their own life and that of the patient in danger. Assessing the patient’s prognosis based on criteria such as length of time buried under the snow and the condition of the patient’s air passages is therefore crucial to deciding if resuscitation is warranted. The algorithm guides the medic through a multi-tiered decision-making process that could not only improve a victim’s chance of survival, but could also help save the lives of the rescue team members.

The quartet of authors feels confident that their work will help to increase survival rates for accidental hypothermia victims in mountain regions, in which their research is focussed, but the knowledge available in the document is replicable in a variety of accidental hypothermia situations worldwide, including trauma and near-drowning.

Laura Defranceschi | idw
Further information:
http://www.eurac.edu
http://www.nejm.org/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Researchers release the brakes on the immune system
18.10.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht Norovirus evades immune system by hiding out in rare gut cells
12.10.2017 | University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Osaka university researchers make the slipperiest surfaces adhesive

18.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

Space radiation won't stop NASA's human exploration

18.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Los Alamos researchers and supercomputers help interpret the latest LIGO findings

18.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>