Immersion and accidental hypothermia.

Knud Jessen


The imrnersion or near-drowning syndrome is discussed and found to be closely related with accidental hypothermia. Pathophysiology and clinical picture of both are discussed, and particular emphasis is done to the treatment. The emergency care includes cardiopulmonary ressuscitation, and control of the pulmonary oedema, initial acidosis, hyperpotassemia and hypocalcemia, and late hypopotassemia, but, most important of all, the rewarming. Hot water bath, hot moist air or oxigen breathing, extracorporal circulation can be used, but peritoneal dialisys is showed to be technically simple and very efficient. Three clinical cases are described.

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