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ASSESSMENT & COMPLICATIONS

Hypothermia commonly accompanies coma due to opioids, ethanol, hypoglycemic agents, phenothiazines, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, and other sedative-hypnotics and central nervous system depressants. Hypothermic patients may have a barely perceptible pulse and blood pressure. Hypothermia may cause or aggravate hypotension, which will not reverse until the temperature is normalized.

TREATMENT

Treatment of hypothermia is discussed in Chapter 37-04. Gradual rewarming is preferred unless the patient is in cardiac arrest.

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