Protection against cold in prehospital trauma care
Sammanfattning: 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.
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