Learn about intravascular rewarming, a method of restoring normal core body temperature while avoiding hazardous afterdrop.

Hypothermia can occur not only in persons exposed to extreme cold, but also in the elderly and infirm, and in patients with medical conditions that impair the ability to maintain an adequate body temperature. Stages of hypothermia are classified as mild, moderate, and severe (Table 1). Treatments for hypothermia have been described since the time of Hippocrates (470-410 BC).2 In the ensuing centuries, hypothermia has continued to occur at significant rates in the winter months and in northern regions, with mortality rates up to 40% when body temperature is less than 34°C.3 Hypothermia can be either primary or secondary. Primary hypothermia occurs in otherwise healthy persons who are inadequately clothed and exposed to severe cold. In secondary hypothermia, another illness predisposes the person to accidental...

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