Successful defibrillation in profound hypothermia (core body temperature 25.6°C)

  • Richard Thomas
    Corresponding author. Present address: West Court, 14 West Street, Titchfield, Fareham, P014 4DH, UK. Tel.: +44-1329-843580; fax: +44-13256-354224
    Department of Anaesthetics, Royal Hospital Haslar, Gosport, Hampshire, PO12 2AA, UK
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  • Chris J. Cahill
    Department of Accident and Emergency Medicine, Queen Alexandra Hospital, Southwick Hill Road, Cosham, Portsmouth PO6 3LY, Hampshire, UK
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  • Author Footnotes
    1 Now of: Department of Anaesthetics, North Hampshire Hospital Basingstoke, Hampshire, RG 24 9NA, UK.


      We report a case of successful defibrillation in a severely hypothermic patient with a core body temperature of 25.6°C as measured oesophageally. Ventricular fibrillation is a recognised life threatening arrhythmia in severely hypothermic patients. The traditional wisdom is that this arrhythmia is refractory to defibrillation at temperatures below 28°C.


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