An evaluation of the Swiss staging model for hypothermia using case reports from the literature.

TitleAn evaluation of the Swiss staging model for hypothermia using case reports from the literature.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsDeslarzes, T, Rousson, V, Yersin, B, Durrer, B, Pasquier, M
JournalScand J Trauma Resusc Emerg Med
Date Published2016
ISBN Number1757-7241 (Electronic)

BACKGROUND: Core body temperature is used to stage and guide the management of hypothermic patients, however obtaining accurate measurements of core temperature is challenging, especially in the pre-hospital context. The Swiss staging model for hypothermia uses clinical indicators to stage hypothermia. The proposed temperature range for clinical stage 1 is

METHODS: Medline was used to retrieve data on as many cases of accidental hypothermia (core body temperature

RESULTS: We analysed 183 cases; the median temperature for the sample was 25.2 °C (IQR 22-28). 95 of the 183 patients (51.9%; 95% CI = 44.7%-59.2%) were correctly classified, while the temperature was overestimated in 36 patients (19.7%; 95% CI = 13.9%-25.4%). We observed important overlaps among the four stage groups with respect to core temperature, the lowest observed temperature being 28.1 °C for Stage 1, 22 °C for Stage 2, 19.3 °C for Stage 3, and 13.7 °C for stage 4.

CONCLUSION: Predicting core body temperature using clinical indicators is a difficult task. Despite the inherent limitations of our study, it increases the strength of the evidence linking the clinical hypothermia stage to core temperature. Decreasing the thresholds of temperatures distinguishing the different stages would allow a reduction in the number of cases where body temperature is overestimated, avoiding some potentially negative consequences for the management of hypothermic patients.


Publication types: Journal ArticlePublication Status: epublish

Alternate URL

Alternate JournalScand J Trauma Resusc Emerg Med
Citation Key / SERVAL ID6824
PubMed ID26887573
PubMed Central IDPMC4756507


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