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Extracorporeal rewarming in a severely hypothermic patient using venovenous haemofiltration in the accident and emergency department

Abstract

Severe hypothermia is a medical emergency and requires active and occasionally rapid core rewarming to prevent cardiac arrhythmias and death. In the accident and emergency department rewarming is often limited to warmed intravenous fluids, heated blankets, gastric and bladder lavage. Extracorporeal methods, which rewarm core blood directly, for example haemodialysis and cardiopulmonary bypass, require expertise and equipment not always found in a district general hospital. Venovenous haemofiltration is now commonly found in district general hospitals around the country and can be used safely for core rewarming. A case is reported of a severely hypothermic elderly patient successfully rewarmed using venovenous haemofiltration, in an accident and emergency department, when other conventional methods had failed.

  • hypothermia
  • venovenous haemofiltration

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