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Environmental emergencies 

Environmental emergencies
Chapter:
Environmental emergencies
Author(s):

Jonathan P. Wyatt

, Robin N. Illingworth

, Colin A. Graham

, Kerstin Hogg

, Michael J. Clancy

, and Colin E. Robertson

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199589562.003.0006
Page of

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date: 14 October 2019

Hypothermia 254

Frostbite and non-freezing cold injury 257

Drowning and near drowning 258

Diving emergencies 260

Heat illness 264

Electrical injuries 266

Radiation incidents 268

Hypothermia exists when the core temperature (T°)<35°C.

Infants and the elderly are at particular risk. In young adults hypothermia is usually due to environmental exposure (eg hill-walking or cold water immersion), or to immobility and impaired conscious level from alcohol or drugs. In the elderly, it is more often a prolonged state of multifactorial origin: common precipitants include unsatisfactory housing, poverty, immobility, lack of cold awareness (autonomic neuropathy, dementia), drugs (sedatives, antidepressants), alcohol, acute confusion, hypothyroidism and infections....

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