Forced air speeds rewarming in accidental hypothermia.


STUDY OBJECTIVE To compare the rates of rewarming of forced-air and passive insulation as a treatment for accidental hypothermia. METHODS We carried out a prospective, randomized clinical trial in two urban, university-affiliated emergency departments. Our subjects were 16 adult hypothermia victims with core temperatures less than 32 degrees C. A convective cover inflated with air at about 43 degrees C (forced-air group) or cotton blankets (control group) were applied until the patient's core temperature reached 35 degrees C. Members of both groups were given IV fluids warmed to 38 degrees C and warmed, humidified oxygen at 40 degrees C by inhalation. RESULTS The mean +/- SD initial temperature was 28.8 degrees +/- 2.5 degrees C (range, 25.5 degrees C to 31.9 degrees C) in the patients who underwent forced-air rewarming and 29.8 degrees +/- 1.5 degrees C (range, 28.2 degrees C to 31.9 degrees C) in those given blankets. Core temperature increased about 1 degree C/hour faster in patients treated with forced-air rewarming (about 2.4 degrees C/hour) than in patients given only cotton blankets (about 1.4 degrees C/hour, P = .01). Core-temperature afterdrop was detected in neither group. CONCLUSION Forced air accelerated the rate of rewarming without producing apparent complications in hypothermic patients.


Citations per Year

889 Citations

Semantic Scholar estimates that this publication has 889 citations based on the available data.

See our FAQ for additional information.

Cite this paper

@article{Steele1996ForcedAS, title={Forced air speeds rewarming in accidental hypothermia.}, author={Mark T Steele and Maximillian J. Nelson and Daniel I Sessler and Lesa D. Fraker and Brad Bunney and Will A Watson and William A. Robinson}, journal={Annals of emergency medicine}, year={1996}, volume={27 4}, pages={479-84} }