Hypothermia in children: Clinical manifestations and diagnosis
- Howard M Corneli, MD
Howard M Corneli, MD
- Professor of Pediatrics
- University of Utah School of Medicine
- Robert G Bolte, MD
Robert G Bolte, MD
- Professor of Pediatrics
- University of Utah School of Medicine
- Section Editor
- Daniel F Danzl, MD
Daniel F Danzl, MD
- Section Editor — Environmental Emergencies
- Professor of Emergency Medicine
- University of Louisville School of Medicine
- Deputy Editor
- James F Wiley, II, MD, MPH
James F Wiley, II, MD, MPH
- Senior Deputy Editor — Adult and Pediatric Emergency Medicine
- Senior Deputy Editor — Primary Care Sports Medicine (Adolescents and Adults)
- Professor of Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine/Traumatology
- University of Connecticut School of Medicine
The clinical manifestations, diagnosis, and differential diagnosis of hypothermia in children will be reviewed here.
Treatment of hypothermia in children, neonatal hypothermia, and frostbite are discussed separately. (See "Hypothermia in children: Management" and "Short-term complications of the premature infant", section on 'Hypothermia' and "Frostbite".)
DEFINITION OF HYPOTHERMIA
Hypothermia is defined as a core body temperature below 35°C (95°F). The stage of hypothermia, defined by core temperature, has a major impact on both recognition and treatment. The most commonly used definitions found in the literature are as follows [1-4]:
●Mild - Core temperature 32 to 35°C (90 to 95°F)
●Moderate - Core temperature 28 to 32°C (82 to 90°F)
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- DEFINITION OF HYPOTHERMIA
- Physics of heat loss
- Pediatric considerations
- Physiologic changes with stages of hypothermia
- Cerebral protection
- Other physiologic effects
- CLINICAL MANIFESTATIONS
- ANCILLARY STUDIES
- Laboratory studies
- - Mild hypothermia
- - Unexplained, prolonged, moderate or severe hypothermia
- DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS
- INFORMATION FOR PATIENTS