Hypothermia in patients with chronic spinal cord injury

Sofia Khan, Mary Plummer, Alberto Martinez-Arizala, Kresimir Banovac

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

33 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Design: Retrospective analysis of medical records. Background/Objectives: To determine frequency and degree of hypothermic episodes in patients with chronic spinal cord injury (SCI). Setting: Veterans Administration Medical Center. Methods: Research involved analysis of body temperature records of 50 chronic patients with tetraplegia. All patients were men with a length of injury of 19 ± 6 years. Mean age was 53 ± 15 (SD) years. Data were derived from the computerized patient record database system of the Veterans Administration Medical Center. Results were classified into 3 groups: (a) hypothermia (<95°F), (b) subnormal temperature (<97.7°F), and normal temperatures (97.7°F to 98.4°F). Body temperature was recorded during hospitalization (minimum duration of 30 days) using an oral probe twice a day. Ambient temperature was controlled by a central air-conditioning system and maintained at 72°F to 74°F. Results: A total of 867 measurements of body temperature were evaluated; normal temperature was recorded 298 times (35%), subnormal temperature was recorded 544 times (63%), and hypothermia was recorded 25 times (3%). There were 15 patients with 30 hypothermic episodes; subnormal temperature was found in all 50 patients from 1 to 47 times. Regression analysis of age and duration of SCI showed a nonsignificant relationship with body temperature. Conclusions: Our data suggest that patients with tetraplegia after SCI have significant dysfunction of thermoregulation associated with frequent episodes of subnormal body temperature in a normal ambient environment. Further studies are needed to evaluate possible consequences of low temperatures on the general health of patients and to develop preventive interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-30
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Spinal Cord Medicine
Volume30
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 8 2007

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Hypothermia
Spinal Cord Injuries
Body Temperature
Temperature
United States Department of Veterans Affairs
Quadriplegia
Air Conditioning
Body Temperature Regulation
Medical Records
Hospitalization
Regression Analysis
Databases
Health
Wounds and Injuries
Research

Keywords

  • Hypothermia
  • Paraplegia
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Tetraplegia
  • Thermoregulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology

Cite this

Hypothermia in patients with chronic spinal cord injury. / Khan, Sofia; Plummer, Mary; Martinez-Arizala, Alberto; Banovac, Kresimir.

In: Journal of Spinal Cord Medicine, Vol. 30, No. 1, 08.04.2007, p. 27-30.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Khan, Sofia ; Plummer, Mary ; Martinez-Arizala, Alberto ; Banovac, Kresimir. / Hypothermia in patients with chronic spinal cord injury. In: Journal of Spinal Cord Medicine. 2007 ; Vol. 30, No. 1. pp. 27-30.
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