Journal of Emergencies, Trauma, and Shock
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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 421-424

Severe hypothermia in a patient with spinal cord injury without radiological abnormality

1 Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Florida Shands Jacksonville, Clinical Center 655 West 8th Street Jacksonville, USA
2 Bayfront Hospital, St. Petersburg, Fl6540 4th Street North, Ste C St. Petersburg, FL, USA

Correspondence Address:
Travis M Smith
Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Florida Shands Jacksonville, Clinical Center 655 West 8th Street Jacksonville
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0974-2700.83878

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We report a case of a 64-year-old caucasian male who was transported to the emergency department (ED) after being found unconscious on the side of the road. On arrival to the ED the patient went into ventricular fibrillation and advanced cardiac life support was started at that time. Thirty minutes into the resuscitation, after multiple rounds of code drugs and defibrillation attempts, the patient was found to be severely hypothermic with a rectal temperature of 24.9°C (76.9°F). Through the use of passive and active re-warming measures the patient's temperature increased enough to allow successful cardioversion and stabilization. Within minutes of cardiac stabilization the patient regained consciousness and was able to follow commands, but was found to be paralyzed from the neck down. Subsequent CT scans revealed no acute fractures, subluxations or acute spinal cord injury. This case represents the rare finding of severe hypothermia secondary to occult spinal cord injury. Case report was taken from case at Bayfront Hospital, St. Petersburg, Florida.

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