So MUCH has already been said and written about hypothermia in the past decade that one hesitates to add yet another paper. The excuse for doing so is that our experimental and clinical work over the last 5 or 6 years has led to some practical results and conclusions which have greatly reduced the mortality and increased the usefulness of this technique.
There are so many occasions on which benefit can be seen from the lowered metabolism resulting from the reduction of the body temperature and so many cases where the ill effects of anoxia may be lessened by hypothermia, that we believe many cases must benefit from its application, provided the method of cooling is safe and readily controlled.
The principal advantages from cooling are:
1. Reduction in metabolic rate and a lowering of oxygen consumption to something in the order of 50% of normal at 30°C.
2. Reduction in cardiac output.
3. Reduction in clotting time, which may prove useful in cases of cardiac disease with polycythemia.
Our clinical experience has been predominantly in the surgical field, but hypothermia does also have important applications in other than surgical cases and its employment should be extended. In particular, we firmly believe that children are often most suitable subjects for this technique. Not infrequently one hears a physician doubting if an infant on small child should be subjected to the "stress" of hypothermia; the truth would appear to be just the opposite—that hypothermia, properly managed, actually protects against shock.
- Copyright © 1960 by the American Academy of Pediatrics