Is there any relation between hypothermia and outcome in critically ill patients?
© BioMed Central Ltd 2005
Published: 7 March 2005
Hypothermia is defined as a core temperature less than 35°C, which is commonly seen in patients with loss of consciousness and trauma. It increases the mortality and morbidity due to impaired cardiorespiratory function, peripheral vasoconstriction, bleeding diathesis, metabolic acidosis, diminished hepatorenal function and impaired immune response. We decided to investigate the prevalence of hypothermia and its relationship with patient outcome considering the problems mentioned and inadequate attention to hypothermia.
This investigation was performed in 100 emergent patients who presented to the ED of Rasol Akram Hospital. This discriptive study was carried out during 4 months. We used a tympanic infrared thermometer for patient detection upon arrival. Data were analyzed by a statistical method (Student t test, chi-square test), and the goal was to find the relation between patient core temperature and their outcomes in emergent patients. Some other data such as mortality and the need for critical care or ward admission were also included.
Based on this study, hypothermia was detected in 35.3% of patients. There was a significant correlation between hypothermia and mortality (P < 0.002).
Hypothermia was more prevalent in patients who were died but there was no significant correlation between hypothermia and the need for critical care length of stay, although there was minimal difference with normothermic patients.