Continuing Professional Development: Recognition and treatment of hypothermia

OverviewAccidental hypothermia is a condition which affects not only outdoor enthusiasts caught in storms, but also a significant proportion of the elderly population of countries such as the UK during winter months. Interestingly, hypothermia is both a symptom of illness and a distinct pathology in itself. With this in mind, it is an important condition for paramedics and pre-hospital medical staff to understand.This Continuing Professional Development (CPD) module will briefly revise some of the principles of heat transfer and thermoregulation discussed previously, before discussing the pathophysiology and management of hypothermic states.Learning OutcomesAfter completing this module you will be able to:• Define hypothermia, and appreciate the relevance of severity grading.• Revise the principles underpinning heat transfer, as covered in the earlier CPD module on heat illness.• Appreciate the range of patients affected by hypothermia, and typical presentations.• Gain an understanding of the pathological sequelae of hypothermic states.• Learn about general approaches to management and prevention of hypothermia.

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