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  • 1.
    Aléx, Jonas
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Nursing.
    Lundgren, Peter
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Surgery.
    Henriksson, Otto
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Surgery.
    Saveman, Britt-Inger
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Nursing.
    Being cold when injured in a cold environment: patients' experiences2013In: International Emergency Nursing, ISSN 1755-599X, E-ISSN 1878-013X, Vol. 21, no 1, p. 42-49Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Patients in prehospital care, irrespective of diseases or trauma might experience thermal discomfort because of a cold environment and are at risk for decreasing body temperature which can increase both morbidity and mortality.

    Objective: To explore patients' experiences of being cold when injured in a cold environment.

    Method: Twenty persons who had been injured in a cold environment in northern Sweden were interviewed. Active heat supply was given to 13 of them and seven had passive heat supply. The participants were asked to narrate their individual experience of cold and the pre- and post-injury event, until arrival at the emergency department. The interviews were transcribed verbatim, then analyzed with qualitative content analysis.

    Results: Patients described that they suffered more from the cold than because of the pain from the injury. Patients who received active heat supply experienced it in a positive way. Two categories were formulated: Enduring suffering and Relief of suffering.

    Conclusion: Thermal discomfort became the largest problem independent of the severity of the injuries. We recommend the use of active heat supply to reduce the negative experiences of thermal discomfort when a person is injured in a cold environment.

  • 2.
    Henriksson, Otto
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Surgery.
    Protection against cold in prehospital trauma care2012Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Protection against cold is vitally important in prehospital trauma care to reduce heat loss and prevent body core cooling.

    Objectives: Evaluate the effect on cold stress and thermoregulation in volunteer subjects byutilising additional insulation on a spineboard (I). Determine thermal insulation properties of blankets and rescue bags in different wind conditions (II). Establish the utility of wet clothing removal or the addition of a vapour barrier by determining the effect on heat loss within different levels of insulation in cold and warm ambient temperatures (III) and evaluating the effect on cold stress and thermoregulation in volunteer subjects (IV).

    Methods: Aural canal temperature, sensation of shivering and cold discomfort was evaluated in volunteer subjects, immobilised on non-insulated (n=10) or insulated (n=9) spineboards in cold outdoor conditions (I). A thermal manikin was setup inside a climatic chamber and total resultant thermal insulation for the selected ensembles was determined in low, moderate and high wind conditions (II). Dry and wet heat loss and the effect of wet clothing removal or the addition of a vapour barrier was determined with the thermal manikin dressed in either dry, wet or no clothing; with or without a vapour barrier; and with three different levels of insulation in warm and cold ambient conditions (III). The effect on metabolic rate, oesophageal temperature, skin temperature, body heat storage, heart rate, and cold discomfort by wet clothing removal or the addition of a vapour barrier was evaluated in volunteer subjects (n=8), wearing wet clothing in a cold climatic chamber during four different insulation protocols in a cross-over design (IV).

    Results: Additional insulation on a spine board rendered a significant reduction of estimated shivering but there was no significant difference in aural canal temperature or cold discomfort (I). In low wind conditions, thermal insulation correlated to thickness of the insulation ensemble. In greater air velocities, thermal insulation was better preserved for ensembles that were windproof and resistant to the compressive effect of the wind (II). Wet clothing removal or the use of a vapour barrier reduced total heat loss by about one fourth in the cold environment and about one third in the warm environment (III). In cold stressed wet subjects, with limited insulation applied, wet clothing removal or the addition of a vapour barrier significantly reduced metabolic rate, increased skin rewarming rate, and improved total body heat storage but there was no significant difference in heart rate or oesophageal temperature cooling rate (IV). Similar effects on heat loss and cold stress was also achieved by increasing the insulation. Cold discomfort was significantly reduced with the addition of a vapour barrier and with an increased insulation but not with wet clothing removal.

    Conclusions: Additional insulation on a spine board might aid in reducing cold stress inprolonged transportations in a cold environment. In extended on scene durations, the use of a windproof and compression resistant outer cover is crucial to maintain adequate thermal insulation. In a sustained cold environment in which sufficient insulation is not available, wet clothing removal or the use of a vapour barrier might be considerably important reducing heat loss and relieving cold stress.

  • 3.
    Henriksson, Otto
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Surgery.
    Björnstig, Ulf
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Surgery.
    Saveman, Britt-Inger
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Nursing.
    Lundgren, Peter J.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Surgery.
    Protection against cold: a survey of available equipment in Swedish pre-hospital services2017In: Acta Anaesthesiologica Scandinavica, ISSN 0001-5172, E-ISSN 1399-6576, Vol. 61, no 10, p. 1354-1360Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: The aim of this study was to survey the current equipment used for prevention, treatment and monitoring of accidental hypothermia in Swedish pre-hospital services.

    Methods: A questionnaire was sent to all road ambulance services (AS), the helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS), the national helicopter search and rescue service (SAR) and the municipal rescue services (RS) in Sweden to determine the availability of insulation, active warming, fluid heating, and low-reading thermometers.

    Results: The response rate was 77% (n = 255). All units carried woollen or polyester blankets for basic insulation. Specific windproof insulation materials were common in the HEMS, SAR and RS units but only present in about half of the AS units. Active warming equipment was present in all the SAR units, but only in about two-thirds of the HEMS units and about one-third of the AS units. About half of the RS units had the ability to provide a heated tent or container. Low-reading thermometers were present in less than half of the AS and HEMS units and were non-existent in the SAR units. Pre-warmed intravenous fluids were carried by almost all of the AS units and half of the HEMS units but infusion heaters were absent in most units.

    Conclusion: Basic insulation capabilities are well established in the Swedish pre-hospital services. Specific wind and waterproof insulation materials, active warming devices, low-reading thermometers and IV fluid heating systems are less common. We suggest the development and implementation of national guidelines on accidental hypothermia that include basic recommendations on equipment requirements.

  • 4.
    Henriksson, Otto
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Surgery.
    Lundgren, Peter J
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Surgery.
    Kuklane, Kalev
    Holmér, Ingvar
    Giesbrecht, Gordon G
    Naredi, Peter
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Surgery.
    Björnstig, Ulf
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Surgery.
    Protection against cold in prehospital care: wet clothing removal or addition of a vapor barrier2015In: Wilderness & environmental medicine (Print), ISSN 1080-6032, E-ISSN 1545-1534, Vol. 26, no 1, p. 11-20Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of wet clothing removal or the addition of a vapor barrier in shivering subjects exposed to a cold environment with only limited insulation available.

    METHODS: Volunteer subjects (n = 8) wearing wet clothing were positioned on a spineboard in a climatic chamber (-18.5°C) and subjected to an initial 20 minutes of cooling followed by 30 minutes of 4 different insulation interventions in a crossover design: 1) 1 woolen blanket; 2) vapor barrier plus 1 woolen blanket; 3) wet clothing removal plus 1 woolen blanket; or 4) 2 woolen blankets. Metabolic rate, core body temperature, skin temperature, and heart rate were continuously monitored, and cold discomfort was evaluated at 5-minute intervals.

    RESULTS: Wet clothing removal or the addition of a vapor barrier significantly reduced metabolic rate (mean difference ± SE; 14 ± 4.7 W/m(2)) and increased skin temperature rewarming (1.0° ± 0.2°C). Increasing the insulation rendered a similar effect. There were, however, no significant differences in core body temperature or heart rate among any of the conditions. Cold discomfort (median; interquartile range) was significantly lower with the addition of a vapor barrier (4; 2-4.75) and with 2 woolen blankets (3.5; 1.5-4) compared with 1 woolen blanket alone (5; 3.25-6).

    CONCLUSIONS: In protracted rescue scenarios in cold environments with only limited insulation available, wet clothing removal or the use of a vapor barrier is advocated to limit the need for shivering thermogenesis and improve the patient's condition on admission to the emergency department.

  • 5.
    Henriksson, Otto
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Surgery.
    Lundgren, Peter
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Surgery.
    Kuklane, Kalev
    Lunds universitet, Insitutionen för designvetenskaper.
    Holmér, Ingvar
    Lunds universitet, Insitutionen för designvetenskaper.
    Björnstig, Ulf
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Surgery.
    Protection against cold in prehospital care: thermal insulation properties of blankets and rescue bags in different wind conditions2009In: Prehospital and disaster medicine : the official journal of the National Association of EMS Physicians and the World Association for Emergency and Disaster Medicine in association with the Acute Care Foundation, ISSN 1049-023X, Vol. 24, no 5, p. 408-415Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    INTRODUCTION: In a cold, wet, or windy environment, cold exposure can be considerable for an injured or ill person. The subsequent autonomous stress response initially will increase circulatory and respiratory demands, and as body core temperature declines, the patient's condition might deteriorate. Therefore, the application of adequate insulation to reduce cold exposure and prevent body core cooling is an important part of prehospital primary care, but recommendations for what should be used in the field mostly depend on tradition and experience, not on scientific evidence.

    OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to evaluate the thermal insulation properties in different wind conditions of 12 different blankets and rescue bags commonly used by prehospital rescue and ambulance services.

    METHODS: The thermal manikin and the selected insulation ensembles were setup inside a climatic chamber in accordance to the modified European Standard for assessing requirements of sleeping bags. Fans were adjusted to provide low (< 0.5 m/s), moderate (2-3 m/s) and high (8-9 m/s) wind conditions. During steady state thermal transfer, the total resultant insulation value, Itr (m2 C/Wclo; where C = degrees Celcius, and W = watts), was calculated from ambient air temperature (C), manikin surface temperature (C), and heat flux (W/m2).

    RESULTS: In the low wind condition, thermal insulation of the evaluated ensembles correlated to thickness of the ensembles, ranging from 2.0 to 6.0 clo (1 clo = 0.155 m2 C/W), except for the reflective metallic foil blankets that had higher values than expected. In moderate and high wind conditions, thermal insulation was best preserved for ensembles that were windproof and resistant to the compressive effect of the wind, with insulation reductions down to about 60-80% of the original insulation capacity, whereas wind permeable and/or lighter materials were reduced down to about 30-50% of original insulation capacity.

    CONCLUSIONS: The evaluated insulation ensembles might all be used for prehospital protection against cold, either as single blankets or in multiple layer combinations, depending on ambient temperatures. However, with extended outdoor, on-scene durations, such as during prolonged extrications or in multiple casualty situations, the results of this study emphasize the importance of using a windproof and compression resistant outer ensemble to maintain adequate insulation capacity.

  • 6.
    Henriksson, Otto
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Surgery.
    Lundgren, Peter
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Surgery.
    Kuklane, Kalev
    Lunds universitet, Institutionen för designvetenskaper.
    Holmér, Ingvar
    Lunds universitet, Institutionen för designvetenskaper.
    Giesbrecht, Gordon
    University of Manitoba.
    Naredi, Peter
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Surgery.
    Björnstig, Ulf
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Surgery.
    Protection against cold - the effect on thermoregulation by wet clothing removal or addition of a vapour barrier in shivering subjectsManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
  • 7.
    Henriksson, Otto
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Surgery.
    Lundgren, Peter
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Surgery.
    Kuklane, Kalev
    Lunds universitet, Insitutionen för designvetenskaper.
    Holmér, Ingvar
    Lunds universitet, Insitutionen för designvetenskaper.
    Naredi, Peter
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Surgery.
    Björnstig, Ulf
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Surgery.
    Protection against cold in prehospital care: evaporative heat loss reduction by wet clothing removal or the addition of a vapour barrier - a thermal manikin study2012In: Prehospital and Disaster Medicine, ISSN 1049-023X, E-ISSN 1945-1938, Vol. 26, no 6, p. 1-6Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Introduction: In the prehospital care of a cold and wet person, early application of adequate insulation is of utmost importance to reduce cold stress, limit body core cooling, and prevent deterioration of the patient’s condition. Most prehospital guidelines on protection against cold recommend the removal of wet clothing prior to insulation, and some also recommend the use of a waterproof vapor barrier to reduce evaporative heat loss. However, there is little scientific evidence of the effectiveness of these measures.

    Objective: Using a thermal manikin with wet clothing, this study was conducted to determine the effect of wet clothing removal or the addition of a vapor barrier on thermal insulation and evaporative heat loss using different amounts of insulation in both warm and cold ambient conditions.

    Methods: A thermal manikin dressed in wet clothing was set up in accordance with the European Standard for assessing requirements of sleeping bags, modified for wet heat loss determination, and the climatic chamber was set to -15 degrees Celsius (°C) for cold conditions and +10°C for warm conditions. Three different insulation ensembles, one, two or seven woollen blankets, were chosen to provide different levels of insulation. Five different test conditions were evaluated for all three levels of insulation ensembles: (1) dry underwear; (2) dry underwear with a vapor barrier; (3) wet underwear; (4) wet underwear with a vapor barrier; and (5) no underwear. Dry and wet heat loss and thermal resistance were determined from continuous monitoring of ambient air temperature, manikin surface temperature, heat flux and evaporative mass loss rate.

    Results: Independent of insulation thickness or ambient temperature, the removal of wet clothing or the addition of a vapor barrier resulted in a reduction in total heat loss of 19-42%. The absolute heat loss reduction was greater, however, and thus clinically more important in cold environments when little insulation is available. A similar reduction in total heat loss was also achieved by increasing the insulation from one to two blankets or from two to seven blankets.

    Conclusion: Wet clothing removal or the addition of a vapor barrier effectively reduced evaporative heat loss and might thus be of great importance in prehospital rescue scenarios in cold environments with limited insulation available, such as in mass-casualty situations or during protracted evacuations in harsh conditions.

  • 8.
    Lundgren, Peter
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Surgery.
    Henriksson, Otto
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Surgery.
    Kuklane, Kalev
    Holmér, Ingvar
    Naredi, Peter
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Surgery.
    Björnstig, Ulf
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Surgery.
    Validity and reliability of the Cold Discomfort Scale: a subjective judgement scale for the assessment of patient thermal state in a cold environment.2014In: Journal of clinical monitoring and computing, ISSN 1387-1307, E-ISSN 1573-2614, Vol. 28, no 3, p. 287-291Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Complementary measures for the assessment of patient thermoregulatory state, such as subjective judgement scales, might be of considerable importance in field rescue scenarios where objective measures such as body core temperature, skin temperature, and oxygen consumption are difficult to obtain. The objective of this study was to evaluate, in healthy subjects, the reliability of the Cold Discomfort Scale (CDS), a subjective judgement scale for the assessment of patient thermal state in cold environments, defined as test-retest stability, and criterion validity, defined as the ability to detect a difference in cumulative cold stress over time. Twenty-two healthy subjects performed two consecutive trials (test-retest). Dressed in light clothing, the subjects remained in a climatic chamber set to -20 °C for 60 min. CDS ratings were obtained every 5 min. Reliability was analysed by test-retest stability using weighted kappa coefficient that was 0.84 including all the 5-min interval measurements. When analysed separately at each 5-min interval the weighted kappa coefficients were was 0.48-0.86. Criterion validity was analysed by comparing median CDS ratings of a moving time interval. The comparison revealed that CDS ratings were significantly increased for every interval of 10, 15, and 30 min (p < 0.001) but not for every interval of 5 min. In conclusion, in a prehospital scenario, subjective judgement scales might be a valuable measure for the assessment of patient thermal state. The results of this study indicated that, in concious patients, the CDS may be both reliable and valid for such purpose.

  • 9.
    Lundgren, Peter
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Surgery.
    Henriksson, Otto
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Surgery.
    Naredi, Peter
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Surgery.
    Björnstig, Ulf
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Surgery.
    The effect of active external warming on cold discomfort in field treatment of trauma patients: a clinical randomized trialManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
  • 10.
    Lundgren, Peter
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Surgery.
    Henriksson, Otto
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Surgery.
    Naredi, Peter
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Surgery.
    Björnstig, Ulf
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Surgery.
    The effect of active warming in prehospital trauma care during road and air ambulance transportation: a clinical randomized trial2011In: Scandinavian Journal of Trauma, Resuscitation and Emergency Medicine, ISSN 1757-7241, E-ISSN 1757-7241, Vol. 19, no 59Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Prevention and treatment of hypothermia by active warming in prehospital trauma care is recommended but scientifical evidence of its effectiveness in a clinical setting is scarce. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of additional active warming during road or air ambulance transportation of trauma patients.

    Methods: Patients were assigned to either passive warming with blankets or passive warming with blankets with the addition of an active warming intervention using a large chemical heat pad applied to the upper torso. Ear canal temperature, subjective sensation of cold discomfort and vital signs were monitored.

    Results: Mean core temperatures increased from35.1°C(95% CI; 34.7–35.5 °C) to36.0°C(95% CI; 35.7–36.3 °C) (p<0.05) in patients assigned to passive warming only (n=22) and from35.6°C(95% CI; 35.2–36.0 °C) to36.4°C(95% CI; 36.1–36.7°C) (p<0.05) in patients assigned to additional active warming (n=26) with no significant differences between the groups. Cold discomfort decreased in 2/3 of patients assigned to passive warming only and in all patients assigned to additional active warming, the difference in cold discomfort change being statistically significant (p<0.05). Patients assigned to additional active warming also presented a statistically significant decrease in heart rate and respiratory frequency (p<0.05).

    Conclusions: In mildly hypothermic trauma patients, with preserved shivering capacity, adequate passive warming is an effective treatment to establish a slow rewarming rate and to reduce cold discomfort during prehospital transportation. However, the addition of active warming using a chemical heat pad applied to the torso will significantly improve thermal comfort even further and might also reduce the cold induced stress response.

  • 11.
    Lundgren, Peter
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Surgery.
    Henriksson, Otto
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Surgery.
    Naredi, Peter
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Surgery.
    Björnstig, Ulf
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Surgery.
    Validity and reliability of the cold discomfort scale: a subjective judgement scale for assesssment of the thermal state of the patient in a cold environmemtManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
  • 12.
    Lundgren, Peter
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Surgery.
    Henriksson, Otto
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Surgery.
    Pretorius, Thea
    Laboratory for Exercise and Environmental Medicine, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
    Cahill, Farrell
    Laboratory for Exercise and Environmental Medicine, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
    Bristow, Gerald
    Laboratory for Exercise and Environmental Medicine, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
    Chochinov, Alecs
    Department of Emergency Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba,.
    Pretorius, Alexander
    Department of Anesthesia, Grace Hospital, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
    Björnstig, Ulf
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Surgery.
    Giesbrecht, Gordon
    Laboratory for Exercise and Environmental Medicine, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
    Field torso-warming modalities: a comparative study using a human model2009In: Prehospital Emergency Care, ISSN 1090-3127, E-ISSN 1545-0066, Vol. 13, no 3, p. 371-378Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Objective: To compare four field-appropriate torso warming modalities, that do not require AC electrical power, using a human model of non-shivering hypothermia.

    Methods: Five subjects, serving as their own controls, were cooled four times in 8ºC water, for 10-30 minutes. Shivering was inhibited by Buspirone (30 mg) taken orally prior to cooling and IV Meperidine (1.25 mg/kg) at the end of immersion. Subjects were hoisted out of the water, dried, insulated and then underwent 120 min of either: spontaneous warming only; a charcoal heater on the chest; two flexible hot water bags (total4 liters of water at55°C, replenished every 20 minutes) applied to the chest and upper back; or two chemical heat pads applied to the chest and upper back. Supplemental meperidine (maximum cumulative dose of 3.5 mg/kg) was administered as required to inhibit shivering.

    Results:  Post-cooling afterdrop was compared to spontaneous warming (2.2°C) less for chemical heat pads (1.5°C) and hot water bags (1.6°C, p < 0.05), and was1.8°C with the charcoal heater.  Subsequent core rewarming rates, the hot water bags (0.7°C/h) and the charcoal heater (0.6°C/h), tended to be higher than chemical heat pads (0.2°C/h, p = 0.055) and was significantly greater than spontaneous warming (0.1°C/h, p < 0.05).

    Conclusion: In subjects with shivering suppressed, greater sources of external heat were effective in attenuating core temperature afterdrop whereas sustained sources of external heat effectively established core rewarming. Depending on scenario and available resources, we advice to use charcoal heaters, chemical heat pads or hot water bags as effective means for treating cold patients in the field or during transport to definitive care.

  • 13.
    Lundgren, Peter
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Surgery.
    Henriksson, Otto
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Surgery.
    Widfeldt, Nina
    Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för klinisk och experimentell medicin.
    Vikström, Tore
    Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för klinisk och experimentell medicin.
    Insulated spine boards for prehospital trauma care in a cold environment2004In: International Journal of Disaster Medicine, ISSN 1503-1438, E-ISSN 1755-4713, Vol. 2, no 1-2, p. 33-37Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Objectives: The aim of this study was to examine, during field conditions, what impact additional insulation on a spine board would have on thermoregulation.

    Method: The study was conducted outdoors, under field conditions in February in the north of Sweden. The subjects, all wearing standardised clothing, were immobilised on uninsulated (n=10) or insulated spine boards (n=9). Tympanic temperature as well as the subjects’ estimated sensation of cold and their estimated level of shivering were measured at five minute intervals during the trial. Statistical analysis of the data gathered for the first 55 minutes was performed.

    Results: There were no differences between the two groups regarding reduction in body core temperature or cold discomfort. There was, however, a statistically significant increase in estimated shivering for the subjects placed on uninsulated spine boards.

    Conclusion: Additional insulation on a spine board by the means of an insulation mat rendered a significantly reduced need for shivering in a cold environment. This is an effect that could be of great importance during protracted evacuations of injured, ill or otherwise compromised patients. In the light of these results we conclude that spine boards, as well as other materials used for prehospital transportation of patients in cold environments, should be well insulated. This is a measure that could be accomplished by such simple means as using an additional insulation mat.

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