ABC Medical Center > Hypothermia

What is Hypothermia?

21:54 - 4 May , 2021


It is when body temperature drops significantly and the body cannot counteract this drop by producing heat, which constitutes a dangerous situation that must be considered a health emergency.

The normal temperature level is between 36 and 37ºC, but when a hypothermic episode appears, a decrease greater than 35ºC is manifested, causing irregularities in the cardiovascular and nervous systems, which if not treated can trigger cardiac and respiratory arrest, with a fatal outcome.

The most frequent causes of hypothermia are overexposure to cold or immersion in cold water, so the indicated therapy focuses on raising body temperature through various techniques.

Signs and symptoms Hypothermia

  • Weakness and slow pulse.
  • Lack of coordination.
  • Lack of strength.
  • Mental disorder.
  • Memory problems.
  • Fainting.
  • Intense chill.
  • Difficulty speaking.
  • Breathing problems.
  • Somnolescence.

Potential risks:

  • Drug addiction.
  • Alcoholism.
  • Some pathologies such as:
    • Arthritis.
    • Hypothyroidism.
    • Diabetes.
    • Malnutrition.
    • Anorexia.
  • Mental disorders.
  • Drugs such as sedatives, antidepressants, and antipsychotics.
  • Weakness and fatigue.
  • Being a child or older adult.

Diagnosis and treatment Hypothermia

Diagnosing hypothermia is usually simple due to the symptoms and the situation that caused the event.

Once the diagnosis is established, the treatment to be followed will depend on the patient’s condition and the level of hypothermia, but the techniques used to restore adequate body temperature are as follows:

  • Warming up through the intake of hot liquids and warm blankets.
  • Heat the blood using hemodialysis machines.
  • Intravenous fluid supply.
  • Raise the respiratory tract temperature.
  • Administration of saline solution through catheters to warm specific areas.

In severe hypothermic episodes, it is essential to go to the ABC Medical Center Emergency Room to receive immediate medical attention and prevent possible severe complications that can put your life at risk.


  • cdc.gov
  • msdmanuals.com
  • mayoclinic.org
  • medlineplus.gov
  • healthline.com
  • medigraphic.com
  • Martínez-Hernández A, Barrón-San PR, Garza-Morales SJ, et al. Hipotermia terapéutica en recién nacidos con encefalopatía hipóxico-isquémica. Rev Mex Pediatr. 2020;87(5):176-182. doi:10.35366/97171.
  • De la Cajiga LA, Aguirre ICP, Álvarez RGE, et al. Hipotermia postquirúrgica: incidencia en el Hospital Ángeles Lomas. Acta Med. 2020;18(1):111-115. doi:10.35366/92018.
  • Ortega-Mariscal VG, Muñoz-Cuevas JH, Wing-Reyna CE. Hipotermia perioperatoria: su impacto en temblor postoperatorio. Revisión sistemática y metanálisis. Rev Mex Anest. 2018;41(4):245-257.
  • Guillén-Garcia BG, Pérez-Saad H. Hipotermia como alternativa terapéutica. 16 de abril. 2017;56(264):64-72.

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