Hypothermia, defined as a core body temperature less than 95 F(35°C) occurs .
when heat loss exceeds the body's heat production. (Ruffolo p.47) Thermal stability in .
humans depends on the body's ability to adapt to changes in internal and external .
temperatures. Heat is transferred throughout tissues and fat, and is released at a rate .
directly related to the temperature of the environment through radiation, conduction, .
convection, and evaporation.
Hypothermia is typically seen as a bad thing; however, various studies have been.
proving it to be very useful. Traumatic brain injury initiates several metabolic processes .
that can exacerbate the injury. There is evidence that hypothermia may limit some of these .
deleterious metabolic responses. In a randomized controlled trial researchers compared .
the effect of moderate hypothermia and normhypothermia in 82 patients with severe .
closed head injuries (score of 3 to 7 on the Glasgow Coma Scale) The patients assigned to .
hypothermia were cooled to 33 degrees C an average of 10 hours after injury, kept at 32 .
degrees to 33 degrees C for 24 hours, and then re-warmed. A specialist in physical .
medicine and rehabilitation who was unaware of the treatment assignments evaluated the .
patients 3, 6, and 12 months later with the use of the Glasgow Outcome Scale. The .
demographic characteristics, causes, and severity of injury were similar in the hypothermia .
group and the normothermia groups. At 12 months 62% of the patients in the .
hypothermia group and 38% in the normothermia had good outcomes (moderate, mild, or .
no disabilities). The researchers concluded that "Treatment with moderate hypothermia for .
24hours in patients with severe traumatic brain injury and coma scores of 5 to 7 hastened .
neurological recovery and may have improved the outcome. (Marion et all).
Two studies done (one in Australia and the other in Europe) showed the .
therapeutic value in survivors cardiac arrest.